Methyl Iodide >
Chemical Formula: CH3I
Packaging: Material is available in various drum sizes from 50 kilo to 250 kilo nett.
Availability: Supplied against specific customer request.
Material: Also referred to as iodomethane or ‘Mel’, methyl iodide is a volatile chemical compound that is colourless in nature. However, once exposed to light, it will begin to turn a purplish brown colour and degrade to iodine. Whilst soluble in water, methyl iodide is actually denser than water. It is also miscible with both alcohol and ether. Methyl iodide is non-corrosive to metals.
Given its natural reaction to light, methyl iodide is commonly stored in dark bottles which offers greater protection against degradation. In larger commercial batches, copper or silver wire can be used to keep the compound stabilised. Crucially, it should be stored in sealed containers and kept at room temperature, a state at which methyl iodide is stable.
There are several methods through which methyl iodide can be produced for commercial purposes:
Combining iodine, methanol and red phosphorus
Combining dimethyl sulphate, potassium iodide and calcium carbonate
Reacting methanol with potassium iodide, using an acidic catalyst
When heated, methyl iodide will produce carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and hydrogen iodide.
Uses Of Methyl Iodide
Some countries have approved the use of methyl iodide as a fumigant insecticide, including the United States of America, New Zealand and Japan. It is commonly used as a pre-plant soil treatment on a wider variety of crops including strawberries, tomatoes, and root vegetables.
Methyl iodide can be used to control fungi and herbs as well as insects. Application methods vary but include sprays and injection straight into the ground. The effects of methyl iodide can last beyond one season, making it a cost-effective option for many farmers. It’s a particularly effective pesticide for crops with a shorter growth season.
As a liquid chemical compound, methyl iodide is easier to handle than gas alternatives for methylation. It is a highly effective reagent within this process and is a relatively affordable option.