Record Information
Creation date2015-10-09 22:31:00 UTC
Update date2017-01-19 02:36:26 UTC
FoodComEx IDPC000507
FoodDB RecordFDB008124
Chemical Information
DescriptionMethanol, also known as methyl alcohol or wood alcohol, belongs to the class of organic compounds known as primary alcohols. Primary alcohols are compounds comprising the primary alcohol functional group, with the general structure RCOH (R=alkyl, aryl). Methanol is the simplest of alcohols, consisting of a methyl group coupled to a hydroxyl group. Methanol was once produced chiefly by the destructive distillation of wood. Today, methanol is mainly produced industrially by hydrogenation of carbon monoxide. Methanol is a light, volatile, colorless, flammable liquid with a distinctive odor that is somewhat milder and sweeter than ethanol (drinking alcohol). Methanol is, however, far more toxic than ethanol. The target of methanol toxicity in the eye is the retina, specifically the optic disk and optic nerve. Visual disturbances develop between 18h to 48h after ingestion and range from mild photophobia and blurred vision to markedly reduced visual acuity and complete blindness. The toxicity of methanol is due to the metabolic products of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and aldehyde dehydrogenase. Methanol is metabolized to formaldehyde by alcohol dehydrogenase, then to formate by formaldehyde dehydrogenase, and then to carbon dioxide by limited H4 folate. Despite its toxicity, methanol exists in low concentrations in all living organisms, ranging from bacteria to humans. Outside of the human body, methanol has been detected in several different foods, such as prairie turnips, mountain yams, mentha (mint), watermelons, milk, sweet oranges and pasta.
CAS Number67-56-1
Alcohol, methylbiospider
Alcool methyliqueHMDB
Alcool metilicoHMDB
Colonial spiritHMDB
Columbian spiritHMDB
Columbian spiritsHMDB
Methanol-water mixtureHMDB
Methyl alcoholdb_source
Methyl hydratebiospider
Methyl hydroxidebiospider
Methylic alcoholmanual
Metylowy alkoholHMDB
Pyro alcoholHMDB
Pyroxylic spiritHMDB
Spirit OF woodHMDB
Wood alcoholdb_source
Wood naphthamanual
Wood spiritChEBI
Wood spiritsmanual
Chemical FormulaCH4O
IUPAC namemethanol
InChI IdentifierInChI=1S/CH4O/c1-2/h2H,1H3
Average Molecular Weight32.0419
Monoisotopic Molecular Weight32.02621475
Chemical Taxonomy
Description Belongs to the class of organic compounds known as primary alcohols. Primary alcohols are compounds comprising the primary alcohol functional group, with the general structure RCOH (R=alkyl, aryl).
KingdomOrganic compounds
Super ClassOrganic oxygen compounds
ClassOrganooxygen compounds
Sub ClassAlcohols and polyols
Direct ParentPrimary alcohols
Alternative Parents
  • Hydrocarbon derivative
  • Primary alcohol
  • Aliphatic acyclic compound
Molecular FrameworkAliphatic acyclic compounds
External Descriptors
Physico-Chemical Properties - Experimental
Experimental logP-0.77HANSCH,C ET AL. (1995)
Experimental Water Solubility1000 mg/mL at 25 oCRIDDICK,JA et al. (1986)
Melting PointMp -97.8°DFC
Foods of Origin
FoodContent Range AverageReference
Production Data
Production Methodcommercial
Production Method ReferenceNot Available
Production Method Reference FileNot Available
Quantity AvailableProduction upon request, up to 3 g
Delivery TimeNot Available
Storage Formsolid
Storage Conditions-80°C
StabilityNot Available
PurityNot Available
Spectral Data Upon RequestNot Available
Provider Information
Contact NameContact InstitutionContact Email
Rosa Vazquez
Commercial Vendors
AKSci 8292AF
Glentham GX5097
Toronto Research Chemicals M276585