What is ETOH in medical terms

Methanol and ethanol - meaning

Versatile use of the two alcohols

Because of their great chemical similarity, methanol and ethanol can be used for the same purposes. Both can be used as solventfor paints and varnishes, for greases, oils and resins. Both are also used as antifreeze.

Both alcohols can be used as energy sources. Ethanol is used as denatured alcohol and petrol additive (e.g. bioethanol in E10). Methanol is used, among other things, as a starting material in the chemical industry or as an energy supplier. In fuel cells, methanol serves as a hydrogen supplier. Use as fuel, so-calledFuel methanol, is being studied intensively. It is possible to add to conventional motor fuels or to use pure methanol, whereby the absence of sulfur allows clean combustion.

Both alcohols are important intermediates in the synthesis of many substances. Ethanol is an important solvent and intermediate in the chemical industry. One of the most important secondary products is ethyl chloride, which is produced from ethanol by reacting with hydrogen chloride. Oxidation produces other secondary products such as acetaldehyde and acetic acid.

Ethanol is used in a variety of esterification reactions. The esters obtained (Chapter 106) have a wide range of uses as solvents and as intermediates for subsequent syntheses. An important secondary product is ethyl acrylate, a monomer that is used as a co-monomer in various polymerization processes. Ethyl acetate is used as a solvent for adhesives and nail polish and for the extraction of antibiotics. Glycol ethers such as 2-ethoxyethanol are widely used as solvents for oils, resins, fats, waxes, nitrocellulose and paints.

Ethanol is used in the three main markets of alcoholic beverages, as a raw material for the chemical industry and as an energy source. Ethanol, which comes from the fermentation of sugar and starchy foods, is used in all areas, while synthetic ethanol is only used as a chemical raw material and energy source.

Most of the ethanol produced is consumed in the form of alcoholic beverages for pleasure purposes. It also serves as a solvent both for consumer products in the household (perfume, deodorant) and for medical applications (solvents for drugs, disinfectants) and in industry itself as a solvent and generally as a fuel.

It is easy to distinguish between methanol and ethanol

Sometimes it is important to distinguish between methanol and ethanol. This is made possible by the reaction of both alcohols with boric acid. With methanol and boric acid, a compound is formed that immediately burns with a green flame. The combustion of ethanol takes a long time with a green flame (experiment 1).



In 1923, the chemist Matthias Pier succeeded in the large-scale production of methanol from synthesis gas in the high pressure process on zinc oxide-chromium oxide catalysts. Until then, methanol was only obtained by dry distillation of wood. In addition to ammonia, another basic product of industrial chemistry was thus accessible through high-pressure processes. The production of methanol can be divided into the steps of synthesis gas production, raw methanol production and processing of the raw methanol (see scheme below). The synthesis gas can be obtained from a number of different fossil and renewable raw materials such as coal, lignite, heavy petroleum fractions, garbage, peat, wood, biogas or sewage sludge.

$ \ mathrm {CO + 2 \ H_2 \ {\ large \ leftrightharpoons} \ CH_3OH + 90.8 \ kJ} $


Ethanol can be obtained from both ethyne and ethene. A significant part of the ethanol is still obtained through fermentation from biomass, mostly from crops containing sugar or starch or traditionally from horticultural products. This process is carried out in a controlled manner with a number of foods, such as wine made from grapes or beer made from malt and hops.

$ \ mathrm {C_6H_ {12} O_6 \ \ longrightarrow \ 2 \ C_2H_5OH + 2 \ CO_2 + 88 \ kJ} $