In the last two decades, the use of oxygenated fuels, like methanol and ethanol, pure or in mixture with gasoline, has been growing due to benefits introduced into the air quality. In Brasil, the fraction of light duty vehicles powered by pure hydrated ethanol is estimated at about 4 million, while the remaining vehicles actually utilize a mixture (22:78 v/v) of ethanol:gasoline. As a consequence, there's a need for the availability of methods that can provide the evaluation of possible impacts of alcohol emissions in the formation of chemical species in the atmosphere, as ozone, aldehydes, carboxylic acids and so on. In this paper, methanol and ethanol are discussed in their general aspects, as well as their atmospheric sources, chemical reactivity and available methods of analysis
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