Synthesis of Diethyl Ether

To a distillation apparatus equipped with a fractionating column is added 80 mL of conc. sulfuric acid and 180 mL of dry ethanol, the solution is heated to 140°C and an addition of 250 mL of ethanol is started. The addition speed should be about 3 drops per second. The diethyl ether starts to distill over, the receiving flask should be cooled with an ice bath. Thereafter the crude distillate is washed twice with 50 mL of saturated sodium chloride solution and twice with saturated sodium carbonate solution. The purified diethyl ether is cooled down in a freezer and some anhydrous calcium chloride is added, the mixture is distilled and the distillate is stored in an amber bottle.


The solution distilling over


The whole apparatus


The crude distillate


Drying the cold distillate with some anhydrous calcium chloride


Distillation of the crude diethyl ether


The distillate in an amber bottle

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