Which Burns Hotter: Ethanol or Methanol?

Pure ethanol, less toxic than gasoline and methanol, contains no carcinogenic compounds.
••• Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

Ethanol, or ethyl alcohol, and methanol, or methyl alcohol, are renewable fuel sources, made from plant-based materials ranging from corn and sugar cane to agricultural and timber waste. Outside of carefully controlled environments, such as laboratories, the burning temperature and other characteristics of these materials varies slightly depending on impurities and other factors, and when compared to other fuels, they have relatively similar peak flame and flash point temperatures.

Too Hot to Handle

The peak flame temperature of ethanol is 1,920 degrees Celsius (3,488 degrees Fahrenheit), while the peak flame temperature of methanol is 1,870 degrees Celsius (3,398 degrees Fahrenheit). Ethanol also has a higher flash point than methanol: about at 14 degrees Celsius (57.2 degrees Fahrenheit) to methanol's 11-degree Celsius (51.8 degrees Fahrenheit) flash point. A volatile liquid's flash point is the lowest temperature at which it can vaporize to form an ignitable mixture in the area. The autoignition temperature, the minimum temperature at which the material ignites without a flame or spark present, however, is higher for methanol than ethanol.

Related Articles

Properties of Kerosene
Properties of Fossil Fuels
How to Make Bromine Water in the Chemistry Lab
What Is Inconel?
Steam Distillation vs. Simple Distillation
How Do Factories Cause Air Pollution?
What Refrigerants Are Flammable?
Urethane vs. Polyurethane
Uses for Petroleum Coke
Properties of Natural & Synthetic Rubber
How to Separate Alcohol From Water
Types of Gas Welding
How to Find the Mole Fraction
What Is Propylene Glycol
What Temperature Is a Propane Torch?
The Properties of Nitrocellulose
Uses of PVC Plastic
Alternative Solvents to Benzene
How to Make Your Own Agar for Petri Dishes
Neoprene Vs. Natural Rubber

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!