Ether

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Ethers are a class of organic compounds that contain an ether group — an oxygen atom connected to two alkyl or aryl groups — of general formula R–O–R'. A typical example is the solvent and anesthetic diethyl ether, commonly referred to simply as "ether" (CH3-CH2-O-CH2-CH3). Ethers are common in organic chemistry and pervasive in biochemistry, as they are common linkages in carbohydrates and lignin.

Quotes[edit]

  • Ethers are relatively stable and unreactive in many respects, but some ethers react slowly with the oxygen in air to give peroxides, compounds that contain an O – O bond. The peroxides from low-molecular-weight ethers such as diisopropyl ether and tetrahydrofuran are explosive and extremely dangerous, even in tiny amounts. Ethers are very useful as solvents in the laboratory, but they must always be used cautiously and should not be stored for long periods of time.
    • John McMurry, Organic Chemistry 8th ed. (2012), Ch. 18. Ethers and Epoxides: Thiols and Sulfides
  • Diethyl ether and other simple symmetrical ethers are prepared industrially by the sulfuric acid–catalyzed reaction of alcohols.
    • John McMurry, Organic Chemistry 8th ed. (2012), Ch. 18. Ethers and Epoxides: Thiols and Sulfides
  • The most generally useful method of preparing ethers is by the Williamson ether synthesis, in which an alkoxide ion reacts with a primary alkyl halide or tosylate in an SN2 reaction.
    • John McMurry, Organic Chemistry 8th ed. (2012), Ch. 18. Ethers and Epoxides: Thiols and Sulfides

External links[edit]

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