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sodium methoxide structure is a strong base that is used in organic syntheses. It is also a powerful solvent and can be used to make soaps. Sodium methoxide is produced on an industrial scale and available from a variety of chemical companies. It is a white, hygroscopic powder that can be dissolved in water to form a solution. It is used as a condensing agent, strong alkaline catalyst, and methoxy agent in the preparation of vitamin B1 and A, sulfadiazine, and other medicines. It is also used as a catalyst in processing edible fats and oils (especially processing lard) and in the production of pesticides.
The molecule CH3O- has four oxygen centers and is the simplest alkoxide. It can react with a number of other chemicals, such as amines and alcohols. It is also the conjugate base of methanol, and it forms salts with many metals, including potassium, rubidium, and caesium. It is extremely reactive and is prone to decomposition in the air, forming hydroxide and methanol. It is also highly toxic and can cause respiratory distress in humans.
It is a highly volatile substance that can explode upon contact with heat, especially if exposed to an open flame. It can also be an oxidizing agent and may ignite combustibles such as wood, paper, or clothing. It is also corrosive and can irritate the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract. Ingestion may cause stomach upset and gastrointestinal discomfort.
Sodium methoxide is an important raw material in the manufacture of dyestuffs and in the chemical industry. It is also an important catalyst in biodiesel production. However, it is very sensitive to water and even a small amount of water in the reaction will stop it from working. Moreover, it can react with triglycerides to form a soap that prevents transesterification from taking place.