Methanol and Formaldehyde

  • Knut Erik HovdaEmail author
  • Kenneth McMartinEmail author
  • Dag JacobsenEmail author
Reference work entry


Methanol (methyl alcohol, “colonial spirit,” “wood alcohol,” “solvent alcohol”) is a highly toxic alcohol that is widely used industrially as a solvent and in the production of formaldehyde and methylated compounds. It is found in commercial products such as gasoline, antifreeze, gasohol, windshield washer fluid, copy machine fluid, canned heat (Sterno), paint, shellac, and solvents for removing wood finishes. There also is a continuous discussion on the possible use of methanol as an alternative energy source in combustion engines.


Methanol Methyl alcohol Wood alcohol Methanol poisoning Formaldehyde Alcohol dehydrogenase Ethanol Osmolal gaps Metabolic acidosis Serum osmolality Folinic acid Hemodialysis Fomepizole 4-methylpyrazole Alcohol dehydrogenase Formaldehyde Formalin Aldehyde dehydrogenase 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Norwegian CBRNE Centre of Medicine, Department of Acute Medicine, Medical DivisionOslo University HospitalOsloNorway
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and NeuroscienceLouisiana State University Health Sciences Center - ShreveportShreveportUSA
  3. 3.Department of Acute Medicine, Division of MedicineOslo University HospitalOsloNorway

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