Diethyl ether, or simply ether, is an organic compound in the ether class with the formula (C
2O. It is a colorless, highly volatile flammable liquid. It is commonly used as a solvent in laboratories and as a starting fluid for some engines. It was formerly used as a general anesthetic, until non-flammable drugs were developed, such as halothane. It has been used as a recreational drug to cause intoxication. Ether is an organic compound in which two carbon atoms are linked through an oxygen atom (C-O-C). An ether may be a product of the condensation of alcohols. Ether also refers loosely to diethyl-ether, a colorless, volatile, highly inflammable liquid used in industry and biomedical research, and historically important as an anesthetic agent. In vivo, ether acts similarly to alcohol and chloroform, but its stimulant action on the heart is much more marked. Ether is a rapidly diffusible stimulant. It is particularly important as a solvent in the production of cellulose plastics such as cellulose acetate. Diethyl ether has a high cetane number of 85-96 and is used as a starting fluid, in combination with petroleum distillates for gasoline and Diesel engines because of its high volatility and low flash point. Ether starting fluid is sold and used in countries with cold climates, as it can help with cold starting an engine at sub-zero temperatures. For the same reason it is also used as a component of the fuel mixture for carbureted compression ignition model engines. In this way diethyl ether is very similar to one of its precursors, ethanol.
Storage Information: Light sensitive, air sensitive, hygroscopic, store below 30°C. Keep tightly closed.