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Chemistry LibreTexts

14.6: Autoxidation of Ethers

  • Page ID
    183039
  • Over time ethers that are exposed to air will autoxidize to peroxides which are potentially explosive.  The general reaction is shown below.

    ch 15 sect 6 generic.png

    For example, diisopropyl ether will autoxidize to the products shown in the reaction below.

    ch 15 sect 6 example.png

    How to avoid explosions.

    1)    buy ether in small quantities

    2)    keep containers tightly sealed

    3)    use opened containers promptly

    4)    discard suspect containers