Ether is an organic compound that contains an oxygen atom bonded to two alkyl or aryl groups. The phrase Ether has been derived from the Latin word ‘aether’ which means ‘to ignite’. At room temperature and below high pressure, ethers are commonly flammable. The well-known formula of ether is given as R-O-R, R-O-R’, R-O-Ar or Ar-O-Ar, wherein R represents an alkyl group, and Ar represents an aryl group.
We commonly encounter this topic in organic chemistry, and it’s also a broadly included topic in biochemistry wherein we discover common linkages among carbohydrates and lignin. Meanwhile, if we study the structure of ethers, they essentially feature bent C–O–C linkages.
The above figure represents the overall structure of an ether. You can see that ether is particularly characterised through an oxygen atom this is bonded to two alkyl or aryl groups, represented right here through R and R’. The substituents can be the same or different.
Examples Of Ethers
We have listed a few ethers examples below.
- CH3 – O – CH3 (Dimethyl ether)
- (CH3)2CH – O – CH(CH3)2 (Diisopropyl ether)
- Cyclic ethers such as
C6H5 – O – C6H5 (Diphenyl ether)
Physical Properties Of Ethers
At room temperature, dimethyl ether and ethyl methyl ether are both gases. The lower homologues are colourless, pleasant smelling, volatile liquids with a characteristic ether smell.
1) Dipole moment: Because the C-O-C bond angle is not 180°, dipole moments of the two C-O bonds do not cancel each other and ethers possess a small net dipole moment.
2) Boiling point: The boiling points of ether molecules are similar to those of alkanes but are considerably lower than those of alcohols of similar molecular mass. Alcohols are hydrogen-bonded, so their boiling points are lower than those of alkanes.
3) Water solubility of ethers is comparable to that of alcohols of comparable molecular mass. Ether molecules are soluble in water. This is due to the truth that, like alcohol, oxygen atoms of ether also can form hydrogen bonds with a water molecule. Also, solubility decreases with growth in carbon atoms. This is due to the fact the relative growth in hydrocarbon content material of the molecule decreases the tendency of H-bond formation.
4) Polarity: Ether is much less polar than esters, alcohols or amines due to the oxygen atom this is not able to participate in hydrogen bonding because of the presence of bulky alkyl groups on each side of the oxygen atom. However, ether is greater polar than alkenes.
5) Hybridization: The oxygen atom in ethers is sp3 hybridized with a bond angle of 109.50 degrees.
Alcohols Phenols and Ethers
Alcohol, phenol, ether are classes of natural compounds which discover wide utilization in a wide range of industries in addition to for domestic purposes.
- Alcohol is formed whilst a saturated carbon atom is bonded to a hydroxyl (-OH) group.
- Phenol is formed whilst a hydrogen atom in a benzene molecule is changed via way of means of the -OH group.
- Ether is formed whilst an oxygen atom is attached to two alkyl or aryl groups.
Preparation Of Ethers
Preparation of Ethers by Dehydration of Alcohols
In the presence of protic acids (sulphuric acid), alcohols go through dehydration to supply alkenes and ethers below distinctive conditions. For example: withinside the presence of sulphuric acid, dehydration of ethanol at 443 K yields ethene while it yields ethoxyethane at 413 K. This is an excellent technique of preparation via primary alcohols.
The preparation of ethers via way of means of dehydration of alcohol is a nucleophilic substitution reaction. The alcohol concerned withinside the response performs roles: one alcohol molecule acts as a substrate at the same time as the alternative acts as a nucleophile. It can follow both an SN1 or SN2 mechanism. The preference of the mechanism relies upon whether or not the protonated alcohol loses water earlier than or concurrently upon the attack of a second alcohol molecule.
Preparations of Ethers by Williamson Synthesis
Williamson’s synthesis is an essential method for the preparation of symmetrical and asymmetrical ethers in laboratories. In this method, an alkyl halide is reacted with sodium alkoxide, which results in the formation of ether. The reaction usually follows the SN2 mechanism for primary alcohol.
As we realize, alkoxides are strong bases, and they are able to react with alkyl halides main to removal reactions. Williamson’s synthesis reveals higher productiveness withinside the case of number one alkyl halides. In the case of secondary alkyl halides, elimination competes with substitution, whereas we look at the formation of removal merchandise simplest withinside the case of tertiary alkyl halides.
Uses of Diethyl Ether – (C2H5)2O
- Used as a common laboratory solvent.
- Used as an incredible solvent for alkaloids, dyes, fats, oils, resins and waxes.
- Used inside the restoration of acetic acid from aqueous solutions in cellulose acetate and plastic industry.
Ether is any of a class of natural compounds characterised through an oxygen atom bonded to two alkyl or aryl groups. Ethers are comparable in structure to alcohols, and each ether and alcohols are comparable in shape to water. In an alcohol one hydrogen atom of water, the molecule is changed through an alkyl group, while in an ether, each hydrogen atom is changed through alkyl or aryl groups. Ethers are colourless, pleasant-smelling liquids at room temperature. Relative to alcohols, ethers are commonly much less dense, are much less soluble in water, and have decreased boiling points.
How are alcohol and phenols classified?
On the basis of the wide variety of functional groups, alcohol and phenols are categorised as mono-, di-, tri or polyhydric alcohol and phenols.
Which is more soluble, alcohol or phenol?
Alcohol and phenol each are soluble in water because of the formation of hydrogen bonds with water. However, the solubility of phenol is decreased than alcohol because of the presence of a benzene ring(large hydrocarbon part).