Difference Between Methanol and Gasoline (With Table)

Fuels run the industry. They form the backbone for any domain of industry. They are the resource that is essential as they provide energy. In the automobile industry, the two major types of fuels used in engines are methanol and gasoline.

Methanol vs Gasoline

The main difference between methanol and gasoline is that methanol is made from natural gas, coal, and oil while gasoline is produced from petroleum. Methanol is difficult to produce at a large scale while gasoline is comparatively easier to produce and manufacture.

Methanol can be chemically produced by mixing carbon dioxide and hydrogen. It is widely used in internal combustion engines as a fuel. Methanol is used as a substitute for gasoline since it is environmentally friendly and is also considered a future biofuel.

On the other hand, the gasoline production procedure for every refinery is different since they add several other substances to make the fuel-efficient and high-performing. It is widely used for tuning engine performance as it reduces harmful exhaust emissions. It is also used in the dilution of paints.

Comparison Table Between Methanol and Gasoline

Parameters of Comparison Methanol Gasoline
Physical properties A liquid compound which is colorless, poisonous, volatile, and has a distinct odor A volatile liquid that has a knocking resistance, viscous, has surface tension, and a strong ignition tendency
Chemical properties It boils at 64.96 °C and solidifies at -93.9 °C. It can fork explosive mixture and the flame is nonluminousIt consists of four main types of hydrocarbons – alkanes, alkenes, isoalkanes, and cycloalkanes
Common names Wood alcohol, wood spirit, carbinol, methyl alcohol, methylol, hydroxymethane, methylene hydrate, pyroligneous spirit, methyl hydroxide, columbian spirit, and other Petrol, motor spirit, natural gas
ApplicationsUsed in the manufacture of several chemicals like acetic acid, formaldehyde, methyl tert-butyl ether peroxyacids, anisole, methyl benzoate, and several other chemicals. It is also used as a base in synthetic fabrics, acrylic plastic, adhesives, plywood, paint, agrichemical products, and others As a fuel in the automobiles, vehicle, and aviation industry, tuning engine performance by reduction of emissions and also as a solvent for diluting paints
Price point ExpensiveCheaper

What is Methanol?

Methanol is a simple type of alcohol. It is light, colorless, volatile, flammable, and has a distinct odor that is sweet and pungent. It is also known as methyl alcohol or methyl hydrate. It is a polar solvent. The chemical formula of methanol is CH3OH. The molar mass of the compound is about 32.04 grams per mole.

Methanol is a methyl group linked to a polar hydroxyl group is also known as wood alcohol as it can be produced by the destructive distillation of wood also. The chief production procedure of methanol is by hydrogenation of carbon monoxide in the industries. Some natural sources of methanol production are phytoplankton, anaerobic bacteria, and the interstellar medium.

It is used in the manufacture of several chemicals like acetic acid, formaldehyde, methyl tert-butyl ether peroxyacids, anisole, methyl benzoate, and several other chemicals. It is also used as a base in synthetic fabrics, acrylic plastic, adhesives, plywood, paint, agrichemical products, and others. Methanol has hydrogen bonding as the intermolecular force. The boiling point of the compound is at 64.7 °C and the solidifying point is at -97. 6 °C. The vapor pressure of the compound is at 13.02 kPa.

Apart from the numerous advantages, there are many hazards like methanol is highly toxic to humans as well as animals. It can cause damage to the eyes, kidney, heart, liver, and central nervous system, if exposed regularly. It can cause permanent blindness as methanol destructs the optic nerve.

What is Gasoline?

Gasoline is a transparent chemical liquid that is mainly used as a fuel. It is a petroleum-derived product. It consists of organic compounds that are derived from processes like fractional distillation. Crude oil is the main source of gasoline. Gasoline may also contain chemicals that contain oxygen like ethanol, ETBE, MTBE that help to improve combustion.

Gasoline is also called petrol. British refiners called gasoline ‘motor spirit’. Gasoline has several other products like compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), and liquefied natural gas (LNG). Gasoline was first used in Otto engines.

The exact composition of gasoline varies since every refinery adds different hydrocarbons to make the fuel-efficient. The various compounds added in gasoline by different refineries are reformate, catalytically cracked gasoline, hydrocrackate, alkylate, isomerate, butane, and many other compounds. Gasoline is a stable compound but breaks down if stored over a long time.

Apart from the various uses and advantages of the product, gasoline contains carcinogenic compounds, and the combustion of gasoline produces a huge amount of carbon dioxide that can further trigger adverse climatic change. It can even auto-ignite in high-compression internal combustion and damage the engine and cause engine knocking. So, it is essential to control the leakage of the product during production, transportation, and delivery that would minimize the hazards.

Main Differences between Methanol and Gasoline

  1. Methanol is made from natural gas, coal, and oil while gasoline is produced from petroleum.
  2. Methanol is an expensive compound while gasoline is a cheaper product comparatively.
  3. Methanol can be used as a substitute for gasoline while gasoline cannot be used as a substitute for methanol.
  4. Methanol cars consume a heavy amount of methanol while gasoline is consumed in less amount in gasoline cars.
  5. Methanol is a poor lubricant and can rust metals while gasoline is mixed with other hydrocarbons and made efficient as a fuel.
  6. Methanol is considered as a bio-fuel while gasoline is not environmental-friendly.

Conclusion

Methanol and gasoline are widely used as car fuels. Methanol is a more powerful and environmental-friendly fuel while gasoline has been used over the years and is a cheaper product. Both the compounds are poisonous. They should be properly handled and stored so that the compounds do not come in contact with the human skin.

Both the compounds are highly inflammable and combustible and tend to corrode the inner engine parts over a period. Both the compounds have hazardous effects on humans and animals upon repetitive and prolonged exposure.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378775399000579
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360319999000646
x
2D vs 3D