t butyl methyl ether williamson ether synthesis

Epoxide (oxirane) is a three-membered cyclic ether in which an oxygen atom is joined to each of two carbon atoms that are already bonded to each other.

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With strong solvating capabilities for a wide variety of compounds including unsaturated hydrocarbons and steroids, MTBE is used as a reaction medium and extraction solvent to replace methylene chloride, aromatics, and other ethers.


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Equilibria constants for the simultaneous liquid-phase syntheses of methyl butyl ether (MTBE) and ethyl butyl ether (ETBE) were determined experimentally in the temperature range 313−353 K at 1.6 MPa. To achieve etherification equilibria, the macroporous sulfonic acid resin Bayer K-2631 was used as the catalyst. MTBE reached the equilibrium faster than ETBE. The progress of the reactions toward the respective equilibrium was determined using different particle sizes ranging from 0.1 to 1 mm at 50 °C. Catalyst effectiveness factors greater than unity were observed for the particle sizes of 0.4−0.63 mm.