Methanol test

  • #1
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Hi
I was wondering if anyone could tell if there is a chemical that reacts the methanol but is also safe to consume in small amounts
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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Hi
I was wondering if anyone could tell if there is a chemical that reacts the methanol but is also safe to consume in small amounts
No. And methanol is extremely poisonous! A few ounces are sufficient to become blind and a few more to die! Do you know how they treat a methanol poisoning at the hospital? They make you drunk! They reduce the methanol concentration by a maximal amount of ethanol. So there is no antidote, and dilution is the only chance.
 
  • #3
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No. And methanol is extremely poisonous! A few ounces are sufficient to become blind and a few more to die! Do you know how they treat a methanol poisoning at the hospital? They make you drunk! They reduce the methanol concentration by a maximal amount of ethanol. So there is no antidote, and dilution is the only chance.
I’m not planning on consuming methanol I’m talking like more testing alchol to see if there is methanol present
 
  • #4
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I’m not planning on consuming methanol I’m talking like more testing alchol to see if there is methanol present
It looks as if there are some indicators on the market, but I would not rely on them. The two alcohols are far too similar to risk anything. If there is a chance there is methanol in something stay away. Moonshiners almost certainly contain methanol, the question is how much.
 
  • #5
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Why would it need to be safe for consumption? To test for the presence of some chemical you take a small sample, do some test with it, and discard the sample.
It is always nicer to work with chemicals that are less toxic, but your question makes me wonder what you plan to do (it doesn't sound safe). Sodium dichromate seems to be a chemical frequently used to test for methanol but it is toxic, too.
 
  • #6
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The typical chemical tests for methanol in presence of ethanol are based on oxidizing the alcohols to respective aldehydes and then testing for formaldehyde in presence of acetaldehyde.
Now as for choice of such oxidant - dichromate is one, but is no better than permanganate. And oxidants that have been used include copper oxide/hot copper wire in air.
 
  • #7
TeethWhitener
Science Advisor
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Distillation can work, but it’s a pain.

NB—alcohol distillation in the US requires certain permits. Safety and legality should be priorities.

Why would it need to be safe for consumption?
I’m guessing OP has some home-distilled liquor and wants to know 1) if the liquor contains methanol, and 2) if there’s a way to remove or neutralize the methanol to make the liquor drinkable.
 
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  • #8
berkeman
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Good responses so far, the the thread needs to be closed temporarily because it is under discussion in the Mentor forums...
 
  • #9
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I think we can close this thread now.

  • Methanol is very poisonous already in tiny dosis.
  • Proof is difficult and involves toxic chemicals.
  • Indicator stripes found on the internet are not reliable.
  • Self made brands very often contain methanol; how much is the critical question.
  • If in doubt, stay away from consumption.
 

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