The key difference between methylated spirits and isopropyl alcohol is that methylated spirit contains ethyl alcohol mixed with methanol and other components, whereas isopropyl alcohol is a pure alcoholic liquid that has no added components.
Methylated spirits are specifically produced by adding different components to ethanol or ethyl alcohol, considering the end uses of this product. This liquid is not suitable for drinking because it contains toxic components such as methanol.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What are Methylated Spirits
3. What is Isopropyl Alcohol
4. Side by Side Comparison – Methylated Spirits vs Isopropyl Alcohol in Tabular Form
What are Methylated Spirits?
Methylated spirits are alcoholic liquids that have been made unfit for drinking by the addition of about 10 per cent methanol. However, these liquids typically contain some pyridine and a violet dye. Methylated spirits are also called as denatured alcohol, meaning, ethyl alcohol mixed with other chemical substances, including chemicals like methanol, methyl isobutyl ketone, and benzene. This liquid is highly toxic due to the addition of toxic substances such as methanol; thus, this liquid is not suitable for human consumption.
Furthermore, methylated spirits are colourless solutions. We can colour these solutions by adding aniline. This colouration is important to easily recognize the methylated spirit. After the addition of aniline, the liquid appears in violet colour. Moreover, the presence of ethyl alcohol and methanol makes methylated spirits toxic, extremely flammable and volatile. Our skin can absorb this liquid due to the presence of methanol. Due to this reason, we cannot use this liquid to make perfumes or bath products. Also, methylated spirit has a bad odour and a poor taste as well.
Methylated spirit is important as solvents, hand sanitizers, cosmetics, and as fuel for heating and lighting, etc. There is a colourless form of this liquid that is important in killing mildew on leather surfaces. In addition, we can use methylated spirit as a solvent for dissolving compounds like glue, wax, and grease. As this liquid does not react with glass, we can also use it for window cleaning. Although it is not good for human consumption, it is still important in cosmetic production due to its antibacterial activity.
What is Isopropyl Alcohol?
Isopropyl alcohol or 2-propanol is an alcohol having the molecular formula C3H8O. It has the same molecular formula as propanol. Its molecular weight is around 60 g mol-1. Therefore, we can say that isopropyl alcohol is an isomer of propanol. The hydroxyl group of this molecule is attached to the second carbon atom in the carbon chain. This attachment makes it a secondary alcohol. Hence, it undergoes all the reactions typical to a secondary alcohol.
Furthermore, the melting point of isopropyl alcohol is -88oC, and the boiling point is 83oC. This liquid is miscible with water and is stable under normal conditions. Isopropyl alcohol is a colourless, clear, flammable liquid. Moreover, it oxidizes violently to produce acetone. When considering the applications of this alcohol, it is useful as a solvent and used in pharmaceuticals, household products, and personal care products. We can also use it to make other chemicals.
What is the Difference Between Methylated Spirits and Isopropyl Alcohol?
Methylated spirits and isopropyl alcohol are alcoholic liquids. The key difference between methylated spirits and isopropyl alcohol is that methylated spirit contains ethyl alcohol mixed with methanol and other components, whereas isopropyl alcohol is a pure alcoholic liquid that has no added components. Methylated spirit is usually violet in colour due to the addition of aniline while isopropyl alcohol is colourless. So, this is another difference between methylated spirits and isopropyl alcohol.
Below tabulation lists out more differences between methylated spirits and isopropyl alcohol.
Summary – Methylated Spirits vs Isopropyl Alcohol
Methylated spirits and isopropyl alcohol are alcoholic liquids. The key difference between methylated spirits and isopropyl alcohol is that methylated spirit contains ethyl alcohol mixed with methanol and other components, whereas isopropyl alcohol is a pure alcoholic liquid that has no added components.
1. Isopropyl Alcohol. 26 Aug. 2020, Available here.
1. “Denaturat” By Hiuppo – Own work (CC BY-SA 2.5) via Commons Wikimedia
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