how do we obtain diethyl ether by synthesis ?

Asked by abhishek abhi | 22nd Nov, 2010, 09:59: PM

Expert Answer:

Dear Student
1. The reaction is catalyzed by acids, usually sulfuric acid. Diethyl ether is produced from ethanol by this method. Such reactions compete with dehydration of the alcohol.
2 R-OH → R-O-R + H2O
For synthesizing diethyl ether, the reaction undergoes as follows.

Ethanol reacts with a strong acid, typically sulfuric acid, H2SO4. The acid dissociates producing hydrogen ions, H+.

CH3CH2OH + H+ → CH3CH2OH2+

The nucleophilic oxygen atom of other ethanol molecule displaces a water molecule from the protonated (electrophilic) ethanol molecule, producing water, a hydrogen ion and diethyl ether.

CH3CH2OH2+ + CH3CH2OH → H2O + H+ + CH3CH2OCH2CH3
2. Williamson ether synthesis
R-ONa + R'-X → R-O-R' + NaX

This reaction is called the Williamson ether synthesis. It involves reaction of an alcohol with a strong base to form the alkoxide, followed by addition of an appropriate aliphatic compound bearing a suitable leaving group (R-X)

We hope that clarifies your query.

Answered by  | 22nd Nov, 2010, 10:54: PM

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