So this is what happens when you mix salts of different metals (Lithium, Strontium, Sodium, Copper, and Potassium) into methanol and then light that sucker.

Pretty colours is what.

Each metal has a different configuration of electrons orbiting in the atom. When the different atoms get energy from the heat, the electrons in the different metals will be excited by a different amount. When they de-excite they release that energy as light. Different metals release different eneriges. Different energies is different colours. The more energy, the violeter the light.

Using different metal salts is also how fireworks do the thing.

See the streetlight yellow in the Sodium (Na)? Well that’s because we use sodium lamps in streetlights
Researchers can now convert CO2 from the air directly into methanol fuel
By Fiona MacDonald

For the first time, researchers have shown that they can capture CO2 from the air, and convert it directly into methanol, which can then be used as an alternative fuel, as well as for hydrogen storage, in fuel cells, or as a building block for plastic.

That’s exciting, because it means that not only do we have one more reason to suck CO2 out of our atmosphere, but it can now very easily be recycled into something useful. “Direct CO2 capture and conversion to methanol using molecular hydrogen in the same pot was never achieved before,” lead researcher G. K. Surya Prakash, from the University of Southern California, told “We have now done it!”

The creation of methanol (CH3OH) from CO2 and hydrogen in itself is nothing new. But what’s cool about this research is the team has identified a catalyst that speeds up the reaction and makes it a whole lot easier.

Continue Reading.

Cosmetic Alcohol Masterpost: a list of "good" and "bad" alcohols to watch out for in your skincare products

Bad Alcohols
These are the alcohols cosmetics companies use as cheap filler, which can cause free radical damage, irritation, and inflammation of sebum glands (simultaneously dehydrating the skin and prompting sebum glands to overproduce oil):

-denatured alcohol
-ethyl alcohol
-isopropyl alcohol
-SD alcohol
-benzyl alcohol
-sodium lauryl sulphate

Good Alcohols
These fatty alcohols and alcohol derivatives are no-brainer emollients that help hydrate skin by acting as humectants - ingredients that attract and hold moisture. They are usually found as skin-identical ingredients safe even for oily skin:

-lanolin alcohol
-dicetyl phosphate
-cetyl hydroxyethylcellulose
-arachidyl alcohol
-cetearyl alcohol/cetearyl glucoside
-stearyl alcohol
-ethyl hexyl palmitate
-decyl oleate
-cetyl acetate
-lauryl lactate
-PPG-12 buteth-16

Volatile oils
Though safe in smaller volumes, volatile oils can cause irritation and free radical damage even in non-sensitive skin. Used in tiny quantities in waterproof makeups (such as Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes Waterproof Pencil) and foundation pigments (like Cover FX Custom Cover Drops), volatile oils rapidly evaporate leaving only pigment on the skin.

However, in larger volumes, volatile oils are often found in moisturizers, serums and foundations, evaporating quickly and leaving skin with the temporary sensation of softness (often we think a product has been “absorbed” into skin when in fact it has merely evaporated, leaving behind synthetic slip agents like dimethicone to make skin appear moisturized). According to Paula Begoun, volatile oils “most often include a mix of alcohols, ketones, phenols, linalool, borneol, terpenes, camphor, pinene, acids, ethers, aldehydes, and sulfur, all of which have extremely irritating and sensitizing effects on skin.”
3-D printed polymer turns methane to methanol
The team found that the 3-D-printed polymer could be reused over many cycles and used in higher concentrations than possible with the conventional approach of the enzyme dispersed in solution.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists have combined biology and 3-D printing to create the first reactor that can continuously produce methanol from methane at room temperature and pressure.

The team removed enzymes from methanotrophs, bacteria that eat methane, and mixed them with polymers that they printed or molded into innovative reactors.

The research, which could lead to more efficient conversion of methane to energy production, appears in the June 15 edition of Nature Communications.

“Remarkably, the enzymes retain up to 100 percent activity in the polymer,” said Sarah Baker, LLNL chemist and project lead. “The printed enzyme-embedded polymer is highly flexible for future development and should be useful in a wide range of applications, especially those involving gas-liquid reactions.”

Continue Reading.


During a workup of a reaction we often need to wash the product with different solvents, in this case water and methanol. 

Why is this needed? Because most reaction what is performed between A and B what are mixed to produce compound (the product what we want) D, E, F, G, H… (things what we do not need) are also produced. 

To remove the side products (D, E, F, G, H…) different techniques should be used to purify the product of the reaction. In this case I used water to wash down the excess starting compounds (A, B) and methanol to remove side products (that white thing floating in the upper phase).

Explosion, massive blaze at Winnipeg racing fuel warehouse forces dozens from homes
A situation that officials described as volatile and dangerous began to ease late Monday as fire crews started to knock back a massive blaze at a Winnipeg warehouse holding highly explosive fuel used for car racing.

No one was hurt when fire and explosions rocked Speedway International, a company that boasts on its website it is “North America’s No. 1 source for 99.99% racing methanol.” (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christine Morin)
Scientists just discovered methyl alcohol in a nearby planet-forming disc
Hello, neighbour.
By Peter Dockrill

If you were to wind the clock back, say, 4 billion years or so, our Solar System would look a little bit like this protoplanetary disc surrounding the baby star TW Hydrae.

This is the closest planet-forming disc of its kind that we know about, and now, scientists have discovered something floating within the gas that could be essential to life: the organic molecule methyl alcohol (methanol). This is the first time this compound has been found in a protoplanetary disc.

An international team of researchers detected the fingerprint of this gaseous methanol located some 170 light-years away by using the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile, an array of radio telescopes specifically designed to study light emissions from some of the coldest objects in the Universe.

That capability is what enabled the team to identify methanol around TW Hydrae, as the compound forms solely in the ice phase via surface reactions. In this case, the methanol was detected on minuscule dust grains that make up the protoplanetary disc. The researchers think it’s released from the grains in its gaseous form.

“Finding methanol in a protoplanetary disc shows the unique capability of ALMA to probe the complex organic ice reservoir in discs and so, for the first time, allows us to look back in time to the origin of chemical complexity in a planet nursery around a young Sun-like star,” said astronomer Catherine Walsh from the Leiden Observatory in the Netherlands.

Because methanol is an essential building block for other compounds that make up organic life, such as amino acids, finding it in a protoplanetary disk is a major discovery – as it could help us to learn about how organic molecules and maybe even life itself end up finding a home on the planets that emerge from these cosmic nurseries.

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Finally, the product of the large scale reaction!

That reddish-brown gunk is washed out with a little cold methanol and I will soon have some white crystals at the top of the funnel.

The best pictures from the blog, what are tagged as my portfolio, including this picture, could be purchased at Society6 as a high quality great looking print: