Q:

Is CH3OH or methanol soluble in water?

A:

Quick Answer

Methanol (CH3OH or methyl alcohol) is soluble in water. Methanol is the simplest of the alcohol group of compounds, having the lowest molecular weight.

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Full Answer

Alcohols are composed of a hydrocarbon chain and a hydroxyl (OH) group. The strength of the hydrogen bonds between water and the OH and the strength of the van der Waal's forces between the hydrocarbon chains are the basis for the solubility of alcohols in water.

The OH group is polar, like water, while the carbon chain is nonpolar; however with methanol (CH3OH) as with ethanol (C2H5OH) and propanol (C3H7OH) the polar intermolecular attraction dominates the van der Waal’s forces that act between hydrocarbon chains. As the length of the nonpolar chain increases, the van der Waal’s forces dominate; Butanol (C4H3OH) is insoluble, as are bentanol, bexanol and heptanol.

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