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Preparing ether - prepare ethoxyethane from ethanol

Two alkyl groups are connected to a oxygen atom from single bonds in ethers. But ether compounds are very inert compounds. Therefore they are not much reactive when they compare with alcohols, carboxylic acids, aldehydes , ketones and many organic compounds containing oxygen. We can prepare ether by reacting alkyl halide and sodium salt of alcohols. Here we are going to prepare ethoxy ethane from ethanol.



Preparing Ether

Ethers are prepared by reaction of alkyl halides and sodium salt of alcohols.

Ether preparing from alkyl halides and sodium salt of alcohols

Alkyl halide and sodium salt of alcohol reaction

Alkyl halide compound contains a halogen atom such as chlorine, bromine or iodine. When sodium salt of alcohol reacts with alkyl halide, halogen atom is removed as a halide ion and combines with sodium cation. Alkyl group of alkyl halide compound combine with oxygen atom and forms ester as the product.

ethoxyethane | diethyl ether molecule | CH3OCH3

ethoxyethane | diethyl ether molecule

Ethoxyethane has four carbon atoms. Two similar alkyl groups are bonded to oxygen atom.



prepare ethoxyethane from ethanol

Steps of preparing ethoxyethane is explained below. Separate two parts from given ethanol liquid.


Ethanol and sodium reaction

Add sodium into separated ethanol part. It gives sodium alkoxide (CH3CH2O-Na+).


Ethanol and phosphorus tribromide reaction

Phosphorus tribromide - PBr3

Other ethanol part reacts with PBr3. It will give bromoethane which is an alkyl halide compound.


Sodium salt of alcohol and alkyl halide reaction

Mix both bromoethane and sodium alkoxide . Then ethoxyethane is formed as the product.


Ethanol to ethoxyethane convertion

ethanol to ethoxyethane