Letter | Published:

Nitric Oxide and Alkyl Ethers


THE reaction of dimethyl ether and nitric oxide has been investigated in some detail by Dr. P. F. Gay and myself1, and whatever the mechanism of the secondary reaction which follows the suppression of the main decomposition process may be, it seems to be quite clear that it cannot be the one represented by the equation, NO + CH3 CO + NH3, since the ratio, (CO + CO2)/CH4, in the product is the same as when nitric oxide is absent from the f system. What does happen is that the ratio CO2/CO is greater when nitric oxide is present than when it is absent, and in the presence of nitric oxide the product contains very little free hydrogen. It seems likely, therefore, that the mechanism suggested by Dr. Gay and myself2 explains the effect of the nitric oxide better than that put forward by Messrs. Thompson and Meissner in NATURE3 of June 12.

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  1. 1

    J. Faraday Soc., 33, 768 (1937).

  2. 2

    NATURE, 138, 546 (1936).

  3. 3

    NATURE, 139, 1018 (1937).

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