It is a chemical compound with the formula CH3ONa. This colorless solid, which is formed by the deprotonation of methanol, is a widely used reagent in industry and the laboratory. It is also a dangerously caustic base.
Sodium methoxide is a routinely used base in organic chemistry, applicable to the synthesis of numerous compounds ranging from pharmaceuticalsto agrichemicals.As a base, it is employed in dehydrohalogenations and various condensations. It is also a nucleophile for the production of methyl ethers.
Sodium methoxide is used as an initiator of anionic addition polymerization with ethylene oxide, forming a polyether with high molecular weight.Biodiesel is prepared from vegetable oils and animal fats, that is, fatty acid triglycerides, by transesterification with methanol to give fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs). This transformation is catalyzed by sodium methoxide.