Wood Alcohol Production: From Biomass to Valuable Fuel  

Wood alcohol or methanol is a fuel source derived from scrap wood and paper clippings. It can be used as a fuel- source for propane and natural gas burners. There are also other applications of wood alcohol: such as being an automotive antifreeze and a general solvent. This blog will discuss the production of this alcohol and how biomass- such as wood- can be transformed into a valuable fuel source.  

How is Wood Alcohol Production done?   

The production of wood alcohol has become easier over time; however, the alcohol’s hazardous nature has not changed. To produce wood alcohol, a destructive distillation process such as the one outlined below must be used.   

  • The wood is collected (typically oak or pine)  
  • Then the wood is chopped into smaller pieces and dried  
  • After being chopped, the wood is loaded into a sealable vessel or retort   
  • The wood is brought to a high temperature  
  • Once heated, the wood begins to break into different gases, liquids, and solids  
  • The gases and vapors pass through a condenser where they are cooled and converted into liquid (Wood Vinegar)  
  • Once condensed, the wood vinegar is distilled to separate the methanol or wood alcohol from the other substances  
  • The distillation process involves heating the wood vinegar to a certain point in which the methanol turns into a vapor  
  • The wood alcohol vapor is then condensed and collected in a separate vessel  
  • The final step is to add a denaturant or chemical; this makes wood alcohol inedible  

Although wood alcohol is a highly toxic compound, it also is a valuable fuel source. There are a multitude of industries that use this substance for numerous roles in their production process.   

Looking to purchase wood alcohol?  

Here at Ecolink, we sell a variety of eco-friendly chemicals, from wood alcohol to acetone. If you are interested in our vast selection of chemicals,  click here! If you have any questions about any of the products we sell, then click here to contact one of our expert chemists! They are here to answer any questions that you may have! Do not hesitate to contact us today!