Unbuffered gas free solutions of methyl alcohol have been irradiated with ultraviolet light in the wave‐length range longer than 1850A and it is found that reactions involving the methyl alcohol occur, induced by the photoactivation of the water molecule. Gas free water itself is not changed by the irradiation. Products initially obtained in the water‐photosensitized reaction are hydrogen as the only gas and a small amount of formaldehyde accounting for 10 to 20 percent of the hydrogen produced. The direct photoactivation of the methyl alcohol leads to its decomposition according to CH3OH+(hv) = CH2 : O+H2. The spectral limit for the water‐photosensitized reaction is in the neighborhood of 2000A.

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