Ethyl ether

Ethyl ether . Chemical compound of the ether family . It was the first product used as an anesthetic. Its developed chemical formula is H3C-CH2-O-CH2-CH3 . These types of compounds are the result of the union of two alkyl or aromatic radicals through an oxygen bridge -O-


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  • 1 History
  • 2 Physical properties
  • 3 Applications
  • 4 Method of production
  • 5 Sources


Dimethyl ether was discovered by the alchemist Ramón LLull in 1912, although it was first synthesized in 1540 by Valerius Cordus who called it “sweet vitreol oil”, in fact ethanol and sulfuric acid were being distilled, (the so-called vitreol oil ). Its analgesic properties were discovered by Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim .

Physical properties

  • It is a colorless, highly flammable liquid with a pungent and burning flavor.
  • Density: 0.7134 g / cm3
  • Boiling temperature: 34.6 ° C
  • Melting temperature: −116.3 ° C
  • Flash point: −45 ° C
  • Formation heat -907 cal / g
  • Heat of combustion: -8 807 kcal / g


This compound is widely used as an analgesic, in fact it was the first to be used for this purpose, its anesthetic use has turned it into a recreational drug, it has a wide use as a solvent for fats, oils, waxes, resins, gums, perfumes, alkaloids, cellulose acetate, cellulose nitrate, hydrocarbons and dyes.

Obtaining method

Sulfuric ether can be obtained as a by-product in the production of ethanol through hydration in the vapor phase of ethylene, using phosphoric acid as a catalyst. Or by dehydrating ethanol with sulfuric acid at 140 oC


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