From ending of the 18th century until about 1920 methanol was produced nearly exclusively by dry destillation (pyrolysis) of Wood in absence of oxygen. Afterwards methanol was produced by a synthetic gas mixture (CO/H2 and CO2/H2 deriving from the gasification of charcoal) by high pressure hydrogenation. Today methanol is produced by catalytic low pressure hydrogenation with copper catalysts at 50-100 bar and a temperature of 200-300 oC.
Production of formaldehyde and methyl esters as well as a polar solvent.
Oral applicated as well as inhalated methanol is poissoness. Symptoms: weak heart or muscle, convulsions, shivering, reduction of vision power up to blindness. Methanol in alcoholic beverages is only reduced after falling short of a blood alcohol concentration of about 30 mg/dl, because of a elimination mechanism similar to Ethanol by the ADH system. Delta alcoholics according Jellinek with constant blood alcohol levels accumulate the methanol in their blood. Results above 10 mg/l indicates abused consumption.