Special reference to methanol and ethanol

Ethanol is chemically made by the joining of an ethyl group (CH3CH2-) to a hydroxide group (-OH) and, therefore, forming CH3CH2OH as its chemical formula. It is also abbreviated as EtOH. Ethanol is volatile and highly flammable. It mixes completely with water due to the formation of Hydrogen bonds. Similarly, ethanol is able to mix with other alcohols as well.

Ethanol is the principal alcohol found in alcoholic beverages and is produced by the fermentation of sugars by yeast. Ethanol causes drowsiness and intoxication once ingested. It is used for many industrial purposes such as; an antiseptic, a medicinal solvent, a chemical solvent, an engine fuel, as a rocket fuel, for household heating, etc.

Methanol, also known as methyl alcohol, wood alcohol, wood naphtha, methyl hydrate, or wood spirits, is a chemical with theformula CH3OH (often abbreviated MeOH). Methanol acquired the name "wood alcohol" because it was once produced chiefly as a byproduct of the destructive distillation of wood.

Methanol is also found in abundant quantities in star forming regions of space, and is used in astronomy as a marker for such regions. It is detected through its spectral emission lines.

Methanol burns in oxygen, including open air, forming carbon dioxide and water:

2CH3OH + 3O2 --> 2CO2 + 4H2O


Methanol is used primarily as a feedstock for the manufacture of chemicals, and as a fuel for specialized vehicles. As mentioned above, it is a common de-naturing agent. As a common laboratory solvent, is especially useful for HPLC, UV/VIS spectroscopy, andLCMS due to its low UV cutoff.

Uses of Ethanol


Ethanol is used in medical wipes and in most common antibacterial hand sanitizer gels at a concentration of about 62% v/v as an antiseptic.


Ethanol is widely used, clinically and over the counter, as an antitussive agent.


Ethanol may be administered as an antidote to methanol and ethylene glycol poisoning.

Medicinal solvent

Ethanol, often in high concentrations, is used to dissolve many water-insoluble medications and related compounds. Proprietary liquid preparations of cough and cold remedies, analgesics, and mouth washes may be dissolved in 1 to 25% concentrations of ethanol and may need to be avoided in individuals with adverse reactions to ethanol such as alcohol-induced respiratory reactions.