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Methanol, CH3OH, is the simplest alcohol. It is commonly used as a building block for other chemicals, such as formaldehyde, acetic acid, and dimethyl ether. Like ethanol and other alcohols, methanol is toxic and highly flammable.

Methanol is a liquid carbohydrate, thus capable of storing large amounts of energy. In a settlement on Mars it has the potential to play a central part of energy management. Additionally, it can be used as a resource for making other carbohydrates, finally to produce synthetic materials.

Methanol synthesis

Methanol can be produced from methane and water.

First step: Production of synthesis gas

CH4 + H2O → CO + 3 H2

Second step: Synthesis of methanol

CO + 2 H2 → CH3OH

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