A light volatile flammable poisonous liquid alcohol; used as an antifreeze and solvent and fuel and as a denaturant for ethyl alcohol; SYN. methyl alcohol, wood alcohol, wood spirit.
(common name methyl alcohol) CH3OH the simplest of the alcohols. It can be made by the dry distillation of wood (hence it is also known as wood alcohol), but is usually made from coal or natural gas. When pure, it is a colorless, flammable liquid with a pleasant odor, and is highly poisonous.
Methanol is used to produce formaldehyde (from which resins and plastics can be made), methyl-ter-butyl ether (MTB, a replacement for lead as an octane-booster in gasoline), vinyl acetate (largely used in paint manufacture), and gasoline. In 1993 Japanese engineers built an engine, made largely of ceramics, that runs on methanol. The prototype is lighter and has a cleaner exhaust than comparable metal, gasoline-powered engines.
Drvni špiritus, žestok otrov, dobiva se suvom destilacijom drveta, upotrebljava se za rastvaranje lakova i firnajza, za gorivo i za dobivanje anilinskih boja, a najviše za spravljanje formalina. (grč.)