What is Di-Ethyl-Ether and where does one purchase it? Thanks, Peter Slone

This is CH3CH2OCH2CH3. It is commonly called ether. This the ether used as
an anesthetic, less commonly now. than than it used to be. It is also a
solvent used for organic extraction’s. It is very volatile and flammable.
Its must be used very carefully since it can ignite into a flash fire or
explosion very easily. It is not particularly toxic. It can be found at
chemical supply houses or try your vet. A farm store might have it as well
as a drug store less likely today.

Di ethyl ether is one of, or the main ingredient, for “starting fluid” for
gasoline engines and can be purchased at automotive parts stores, in spray
can form, under various names. Be careful!

G’day; Diethyl ether is commonly called ether. (C2H5)2O. It has a boiling
point of 35C and a density of 0.72. It is very volatile and extremely
flammable indeed, and can easily be ignited by a spark 2 feet distant, so
it is far more dangerous than gasoline. In fact at room temperature is is
very nearly a gas owing to it’s very low boiling point. It is also, of
course extremely explosive with air. It was used in the early days of
modern medicine as an anaesthetic, and has a pleasant, but cloying odour.
(you wake up, [you hope!] with a ghastly headache and vomiting and wish you
hadn’t woken) Nearly all fats are very soluble in it, and it is used in
chemical analysis in a method of determining the fat content of various
substances, such as milk, casein, cheese, meat, etc etc. (I used to do it!)
Because of it’s extremely hazardous properties, I would advise against
using (or even possessing it) for any purpose by anyone without proper
training. It can be purchased from any good chemicals supply company. (I
use to buy it for a University Chemistry Dept., by the 20 gallon drum!) It
is prepared by the action of concentrated sulphuric acid on ethyl alcohol
and is purified by distillation. So there you are, More than you ever
wanted to know about diethyl ether! Cheers,

        /\      John Burgess
       / /
      / /      Johnb@ts.co.nz    
     / /__|\
    (_______)   It's springtime in Mapua Nelson NZ

Peter- Diethyl ether is an organic solvent that (at least back when I was a
kid) was used extensively as an anesthetic (for surgery.) (better things
have been found since then. I would prefer to discourage you from using
it, because there are some dangers involved. for one thing, it isVERY
flammable, sometimes even explosively so. You buy it in a can, and the can
needs to be grounded when you pour out of it, because even static
electricity can set it off. As it sits around, it sometimes develops
impurities in it that can cause it to explode upon a slight jar, or even
spontaneously. One night I came out of a Shakespeare performance at
Southern Utah Univ. and found that the whole block had been evacuated and
blocked off by the police, because someone had discovered an old can of
ether in one of the chem labs. (My car was parked right in front of the
building!) Fortunately the problem was soon solved without an explosion,
but --!! It usually takes some time for it to develop these
characteristics, but someone purchasing a can, using a little, and then
just sitting up up on the shelf for some years (rather than being used up,
as it usually is in a chem lab) is just the sort of circumstances that can
cause a bad sitiuation.

I should think some other organic solvent (or whatever is needed in this
case) could be found that is much less potentially dangerous!

You can buy it at any chemical supply house, and sometimes in pharmacies.


Plain old anaesthetic ether - the stuff the bad guy uses to put the heroine
to sleep as he kidnaps her. If you don’t need large quantities or high
purity, auto stores sell it as engine starting fluid.


Hello Peter, Di-Ethyl-Ether is sold in Germany as Pariser Edeloxyd, the
active component is Di-Ethyl-Ether. I know some people in the US buy
certain tools from Fischer Company in Pforzheim. They also sell it. 100ml
costs approx. 20 US dollars, but it lasts long. Though I think that you
will get it cheaper from a chemists store, laboratory or similar. Have fun.

This Di-Ethyl-ether is also used as a releasing agent on copy paper that
has been printed with a lazer printer. Engravers are using it to release a
design on gold, it works like a charm, no more losing your design or
having it to light. This method can give better layout and is much easier
to see. Forestwiz

The day I read the original posting I put an old 14k ring in some high
strength starting fluid. ( After looking up di-ethyl-either, and
questioning how this could possably create a antiqueing). It has been
several days now now chages are apparent in appearence of the ring. Am I
missing a step or what?

Mark Chapman

Hi! Chemist here!

Di-ethyl-ether is also known as ethyl-ether or just plain ether. It’s a
very dangerous substance, and I would strongly urge you to find a
different solvent for your purpose. There are several main hazards: You can
inhale the fumes and become unconscious, Chemists use ether in a
specially-ventilated fume hood because of this. In addition, the vapors are
explosive, so ether must never be used near flame, heat sources or sources
of sparks such as electrical equipment. Finally, old ether that has been
stored for a period of time forms unstable compounds which can explode
jarring or even when opening the container.

Most Chemists have found safer solvents to use in place of ether. It’s
impossible to suggest one without knowing your exact application, but
Acetone and Methyl Alcohol (wood alcohol) are both relatively safe. Even
so, use them in a well-ventilated area and be aware that they are flammable
liquids that could be ignitied if they come in contact with a flame.

Email me if you want more info.


Finally, old ether that has been stored for a period of time forms
unstable compounds which can explode upon jarring or even when opening
the container. 

G’day. When stored for long periods ether reacts to produce ether
peroxides, which are indeed sensitive and can explode with considerable
violence. Many, many years ago I had as part of my job, to recover used
ether and to redistill commercially obtained ether which had to be
especially pure. I used to shake a sample of the ether with potassium
iodide solution and add starch solution. If any peroxides were present, the
water layer would turn blue. I would then add to the ether a strong
solution of ferrous sulphate which not only prevented the peroxides from
forming, but rendered harmless any which were present. The ferrous sulphate
slowly turned brown as peroxides were absorbed, oxidising it to ferric
sulphate. Cheers, – John Burgess

A tale of the hazards of ether:

Years ago I was a warehouseman for a medical charity which accepted
donations of medical supplies, and yes, we got the occasional old,
potentially explosive can of ether. I was unaware of the potential peril
until a volunteer, an old army nurse, shared her story.

Mary was an army nurse in Europe during WWII. She worked in a tent
hospital, I guess it would be a mobile surgical unit in today’s parlance.
The way they anaesthesized their patients was by placing a gauze pad over
the mouth and nose and pouring ether on it. On one occasion, the light
which they were using sparked, which was enough to ignite the ether vapors
in the air. Or rather, not just in the air. Even the ether vapor in the
patient’s lungs ignited, which for a split second illuminated the patient’s
chest cavity from the inside out, to such a degree that the onlookers could
clearly see the rib cage through the skin. The patient died instantly, his
lungs cauterized.

I guess what I’m saying here is that you should very carefully consider
the risks vs. benefits of using ether. Is it really a patina “to die for?”

Lee Einer