Methanol vs Isopropyl Alcohol

Methanol vs Isopropyl Alcohol

What is Methanol?

This alcohol, like most, is a highly flammable, colorless, watery liquid. Methanol is particularly toxic to humans and animals, even though it is found naturally in humans, plants, and animals due to exposure over time. Methanol can cause certain health issues such as irritation, headaches, kidney failure, nausea, vomiting, and liver issues.

What is Methanol used for?

Methanol is used primarily as an alternative fuel source. While it has its place as a pesticide and an industrial solvent, biofuel is its main arena.  Because this alcohol can easily be produced from biomass and certain gases, it is very easy and inexpensive to produce. It is mixed with gasoline in certain percentages and used as a fuel source for buses and cars. This alcohol does not produce any greenhouse gases upon being burned.  Because of this, it is a very inexpensive eco-friendly option.

What is Isopropyl Alcohol?

As you can tell by the name, this is an alcohol. It is a colorless, flammable, and watery liquid. Being soluble in water and having certain chemical properties, it is able to breakdown many oils and other non-polar substances. While it is not nearly as toxic as methanol, it is still unsafe for human consumption. It is safe to use topically, but not safe to ingest. Ingestion can cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, and kidney damage.

What is Isopropyl Alcohol used for?

This alcohol is used in the manufacture of many other chemicals. It is found in many household items as well. These include aftershave lotions, cosmetics, shellacs, and gums. This alcohol is also used in many different production and manufacturing processes. The production of cosmetics, ethanol, and other chemicals is an important role that alcohol plays.

Isopropyl alcohol has been gaining recent attention for its ability to act as a very effective and cheap antiseptic, disinfectant, hand sanitizer, and detergent. This has been important during the pandemic as these were all in high demand and this alcohol is fairly cheap to produce.

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