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Uses of Alkanols

Methanol and ethanol are the two most important alkanols. While methanol is largely manufactured from petroleum feed stock, ethanol is obtained from ethene or by fermentation of sugar and starch. Both have many uses in industry. Methanol is used as a solvent and in the preparation of methanol. It is also used in the preparation of ethanoic acid


Ethan-1,2-d.iol is used in the manufacture of polymers. It is also used as an antifreeze.

Propane-1,2,3-triol is used in confectionery and cosmetics.

Uses of ethanol are given below in detail:



1. Ethanol is a constituent of alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine, whisky and other liquors.

2. A mixture of ethanol and water has much lower freezing point than that of water. This mixture is known as antifreeze and is used in radiators of vehicles in cold countries.

3. It is also used as solvent for resins, fats, oils, fatty acids and hydrocarbons.

4. Ethanol is used to sterilise wounds and syringes.

5. In the manufacture ‘bf dyes, drugs and detergents.

6. As a petrol substitute Ethanol can be mixed with petrol to the extent of 25% and used as fuel in internal combustion engines.

7. Ethanol is used in preparation of large number organic compounds such as chloroform, iodoform, ethanoic acid, ethanal, etc.