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A New Process for the Preparation of Ethers

Nature volume 49, pages 184185 | Download Citation



A NEW and advantageous general process for the preparation of ethers (alkyl oxides), including the most important from a technical point of view, ethyl ether, is described by Prof. Krafft, of Heidelberg, in the current Bertchte. In the course of an investigation of the aromatic derivatives of sulphuric acid, it was observed that there is a complete analogy between the behaviour of sulphovinic acid and its homologates on the one hand, and the alkyl esters of aromatic sulphonic acids on the other, towards alcohols at moderately elevated temperatures. It was found, in fact, that the conclusions arrived at by Prof. Williamson in the year 1851, with regard to the processes involved in. the formation of ethers from the esters of sulphuric acid, are equally applicable to the alkyl esters of the sulphonic acids. For these latter substances decompose in a precisely similar manner to the alkyl sulphuric acids upon warming with alchols, an ether being the product of the reaction. Thus, for instance, the reactions between alcohol and ethyl sulphuric acid, and between alcohol and the ethyl ester of benzene sulphonic acid, run exactly parallel, as will be apparent from the equations representing them—

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