Difference Between Ethanol and Methanol
Ethanol vs Methanol
Sometimes things that look so similar are actually quite different. This is the case with ethanol and methanol. These two substances not only sound similar, but if you put them in two separate glasses they would also look the same. However, if you did anything else with them, or even came too close to the open glasses, you would soon see that there are some very important differences between ethanol and methanol and that mistaking one for the other can be a fatal mistake.
Physical Appearance of Ethanol and Methanol
Ethanol ‘“ is a colorless liquid that is extremely volatile. It has a strong, burning odor and will burn as a bright blue flame.
Methanol ‘“ too is a colorless liquid that is also extremely volatile. Its odor is distinctive and it burns as a bright white flame.
Physical Effects of Ethanol and Methanol
Ethanol ‘“ is a primary ingredient in both fermented and distilled alcoholic beverages. If you ingest ethanol, you will begin to feel intoxicated. Only after a large dose will you feel ill, vomit, or develop alcohol poisoning.
Methanol ‘“ should never be ingested, inhaled, or come in contact with your skin. Even a small dose, less than half a teaspoon, can cause blindness and less than four ounces is consistently fatal.
Uses of Ethanol and Methanol
Ethanol ‘“ is used to create the intoxicating effects found in alcoholic beverages. It is also used as an alternate form of fuel and is most often created from sugarcane or corn. In the United States, certain cars are designed to take 85% ethanol fuels. It is also found in rocket fuels. It has antiseptic properties and is found in anti-bacterial wipes and hand gels. It is also the base of many paints and perfumes because it is a good solvent.
Methanol ‘“ is mostly used to create other chemicals such as formaldehyde. It is also a desirable fuel for race and stunt cars because it is less flammable than gasoline and can be put out with water. Small quantities are used to produce denatured alcohol and it can also be found as a solvent.
Ethanol’s and Methanol’s Reactions with Water
Ethanol ‘“ is miscible in water, which means that the two substances easily combine to make a homogenous solution.
Methanol ‘“ is soluble in water, which means that it will break down in the presence of water.
1.Ethanol and methanol are liquids that sound the same and have many of the same physical characteristics including look and smell.
2.Ethanol is safe to consume in moderate amounts and is found in all alcoholic beverages whereas methanol should be avoided at all costs as even a small dose can cause blindness or death.
3.Ethanol is used for alcohol, cleaning, solvents, and fuels, and while methanol is also found in solvents and fuels, it is primarily used to make other chemicals.
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