Analysis of ethers

In ether analysis, ethers, like hydrocarbons, are not very reactive but can be distinguished from ethers by the iodine charge transfer test and by solubility in H2SO4 (not diaryl ethers).

When ethers are left to stand exposed to air and light they have a tendency to form highly explosive peroxides.

Ferrox paper test

Procedure: this paper is prepared dissolving separately 1 g of ferric chloride and 1 g of potassium sulfocyanide (potassium thiocyanate) in portions of 10 ml of MeOH. Both solutions are mixed and filtered.

The solutions are immersed two or three times in the filter paper strips and dried after each immersion. The strips should be stored in the dark.

Thus, in this ether analysis, the ferrox paper turns red due to the released ferric sulfocyanide.

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