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Recently, health officials in the United States have recalled several lots of hand sanitisers and aloe gels over the risk of methanol exposure.

About Methanol

  • It appears as a colorless fairly volatile liquid with a faintly sweet pungent odor like that of ethyl alcohol.
  • It is also known as wood alcohol. It can completely mix with water.
  • Production: Preparing methanol is based on the direct combination of carbon monoxide gas and hydrogen in the presence of a catalyst. Increasingly, syngas, a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide derived from biomass, is used for methanol production.
  • Benefits
    • Lower production costs—Methanol is cheap to produce relative to other alternative fuels.
    • Improved safety—Methanol has a lower risk of flammability compared to gasoline.
    • Increased energy security—Methanol can be manufactured from a variety of domestic carbon-based feedstocks, such as biomass, natural gas, and coal.

Applications: Used to make chemicals, to remove water from automotive and aviation fuels, as a solvent for paints and plastics, and as an ingredient in a wide variety of products.

Q1: What is a Syngas?

It is an abbreviation for synthesis gas, which is a mixture comprising carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen. - The syngas is produced by gasification of a carbon-containing fuel to a gaseous product that has some heating value.

Source: Hand sanitizers recalled in US as FDA warns methanol exposure could cause coma, blindness