Difference Between Ethanol and Methanol

Ethanol and Methanol are just two kinds of alcohol. Ethanol is also known as ethyl alcohol falls with a chemical structure with two carbon atoms. While methanol is known as methyl alcohol is composed of only one carbon atom. Ethanol is usually produced by combining an ethyl group ( CH3CH2 ) with a hydroxyl group (-OH). Its formula is given as CH3CH2OH. Methanol is prepared by combining a methyl group ( CH3 ) to a hydroxyl group (-OH). It is represented as CH3OH.

While the carbon number is the main difference between ethanol and methanol, these two feature some similarities. They both sound similar and are colorless liquids. So, they can be confused easily. However, methanol and ethanol are different types of alcohol or chemicals. They do have other different properties as well as uses.

Differences between Ethanol and Methanol

Now that we know a bit about the two alcohols, let’s dive into the differences between ethanol and methanol.

Ethanol Methanol
It is the alcohol with an ethyl group having two carbon atoms in the carbon skeleton. Methanol is the alcohol with a methyl group having only one carbon atom in the carbon skeleton.
Ethanol is a poor acid compared with water, in terms of acidity. It has higher acidity than liquids.
Ethanol has a heavy, burning smell and emits a bright blue flame. Methanol is unpredictable and has a characteristic odor. When burning it gives off a light white flame.
It is typically prepared by the fermentation of food crops from factories. It is manufactured mainly by synthetic processes.
Ethanol is the primary ingredient of alcoholic beverages. Since methanol is highly poisonous it is not appropriate for use at all. Generally used in the manufacturing of products such as formaldehyde etc.

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