Diethyl ether, also known as Et2O, is an organic compound with the formula C4H10O or (C2H5)2O. It is a colourless, highly volatile, and flammable liquid that is commonly used as a solvent in laboratories and as a starting fluid for some engines. It was formerly used as a general anesthetic until non-flammable drugs were developed, such as halothane. It has also been used as a recreational drug to cause intoxication. Diethyl ether is produced as a byproduct of the vapor-phase hydration of ethylene to make ethanol, which can be adjusted to make more ether if needed. It can be prepared both in laboratories and on an industrial scale by the acid ether synthesis. Ethanol is mixed with a strong acid, typically sulfuric acid, H2SO4, and the acid dissociates in the aqueous environment, producing hydronium ions, H3O+. A hydrogen ion protonates the electronegative oxygen atom of the ethanol, giving the ethanol molecule a positive charge. A nucleophilic oxygen atom of unprotonated ethanol displaces a water molecule from the protonated (electrophilic) ethanol molecule, reforming the hydronium ion and yielding diethyl ether. The reaction to make diethyl ether is reversible, so eventually an equilibrium between reactants and products is achieved. Getting a good yield of ether requires ether being distilled out of the reaction mixture before it reverts to ethanol, taking advantage of Le Chatelier's principle. Diethyl ether is particularly important as a solvent in the production of cellulose plastics, such as cellulose acetate. It has a high cetane number of 85-96 and is used as a starting fluid in combination with petroleum distillates for gasoline and diesel engines due to its high volatility and low flash point. Ether starting fluid is sold and used in countries with cold climates, as it can help with cold starting an engine at sub-zero temperatures. Diethyl ether is a hard Lewis base that reacts with various Lewis acids such as iodine, phenol, and trimethylaluminium. It is a common laboratory aprotic solvent with limited solubility in water and dissolves 1.5 g/100 g (1.0 g/100 ml) water at 25 °C. It is also a common solvent for the Grignard reaction and is listed in the Table II precursor under the United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, as well as substances such as acetone, toluene, and sulfuric acid.
The CAS Number of Diethyl Ether is 60-29-7
The Molecular Formula of Diethyl Ether is C4H10O
The Molecular Mass of Diethyl Ether is 74.12
The SMILES Notation of Diethyl Ether is CCOCC
The InChI Notation of Diethyl Ether is InChI=1S/C4H10O/c1-3-5-4-2/h3-4H2,1-2H3