Homemade Methanol

by Kim Blakesley
bottle of oil image by Adrian Hillman from Fotolia.com

Methanol is a biodiesel fuel that can be used as a substitute for gas in cars, motorcycles and small gas engines. Methanol burns cleaner than gasoline and produces less knocking in the engine because it is a higher octane fuel. Methanol is also less expensive than gasoline, it's a better lubricant, and you can make it at home using a few basic ingredients.

Step 1

Cover the top of a table in a well-ventilated area with plastic. Put on safety glasses and rubber gloves.

Step 2

Measure 6.8 ounces (200 milliliters) of methyl alcohol or wood alcohol into a glass beaker. Pour the alcohol into the glass pitcher of a blender, and place the pitcher on the blender.

Step 3

Weigh a small plastic bowl on the scale and write down the weight. Slowly add 3.5 grams of lye drain cleaner to the bowl. Calculate this measurement by noting the weight of the bowl combined with the weight of the granules. For example, if the bowl weighs 2 grams, then the total weight of the bowl and the granules should be 5.5 grams.

Step 4

Turn the blender on to the lowest speed. Add the lye slowly to the alcohol and blend for two minutes until all the lye has dissolved. Do not turn off the blender.

Step 5

Add 1.1 quarts (1 liter) of vegetable oil to the mixture in the blender. Blend for 30 minutes on low speed.

Step 6

Turn off the blender and immediately pour the mixture into a wide-mouth jar that you have marked as "POISON." Allow this to sit for eight to 10 hours.

Pour the light-colored methanol carefully into a storage container marked "METHANOL." Be careful not to pour into the container any of the glycerin that's been created. You can also use a pump to remove the methanol without disturbing the glycerin.


  • Methanol can also be made from used vegetable oil, using slightly different instructions.
  • The glycerin waste created can be used to make soap.


  • After creating the methanol, make sure that you do not use the blender for preparing food.
  • Methanol is highly toxic. Store it in a safe place away from children and pets.
  • Always work in a well-ventilated area.

Items you will need

  • 1.1 quart (1 liter) vegetable oil
  • Variable speed blender with glass pitcher
  • Gram scale
  • Sodium hydroxide (lye drain cleaner)
  • 6.8 fluid ounces (200 milliliters) methyl alcohol or wood alcohol (Heet Antifreeze)
  • 200 milliliter glass beaker
  • 1.1 quart (1 liter) marked glass container
  • 2 quart (1.5 liter) wide-mouth glass or plastic jar with lid
  • Safety glasses
  • Rubber gloves
  • Plastic cloth
  • Small plastic bowl
  • Methanol storage container

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