Diethyl Ether, or simply ether, is an organic compound in the ether class with the formula (C2H5)2O, sometimes abbreviated as Et2O. It is a colourless, highly volatile, sweet-smelling ("ethereal odour"), extremely flammable liquid. While the chemical was once used as a general anaesthetic, it has a wide range of uses today. For example, it can be used as a starting fluid to spark engines into life and as a solvent in laboratories. The chemical is also extremely explosive and can readily form explosive vapour/air mixtures if not properly handled. The chemical formula for Diethyl Ether is C4H10O.

Photo of Diethyl Ether (Technical Grade)
CAS Number: 60-29-7
UN Number: 1155
Hazard Class: 3
Packing Group: I
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Physical properties of Diethyl Ether (Technical Grade)

Physical State: Liquid
Appearance: No information available
Odor: No information available
Odor Threshold: No information available
pH: No information available
Melting Point / Range: No information available
Boiling Point / Range: No information available
Molecular Formula: No information available
Molecular Weight: No information available
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Safety information for Diethyl Ether

All the safety information for Diethyl Ether can be found in our MSDS (material safety data sheet) below. It includes information on first aid, accidental release, fire-fighting, handling and storage, personal protection and much more. Please familiarise yourself with the hazards before handling it.

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Flammability: 4 – Diethyl Ether is an extremely flammable substance, which is why it was used as a starting fluid for engines. Diethyl Ether vapour is heavier than air, so it will sink to the ground and travel across it. The travelling vapour can easily burst into flame if it comes into contact with a naked flame, hot plate, hot pipe, and even the electrical arc created by electrical outlets and switches.

Health: 1 – Diethyl Ether poses health risks upon vapour inhalation, leading to symptoms such as headaches, nausea, vomiting, and potential loss of consciousness. Additionally, contact with the eyes can result in irritation, while skin exposure through clothing saturated with the chemical may lead to burns.

Reactivity: 1 – This substance is sensitive to light, and can form flammable peroxides in the air. Explosions have occurred while storing Aluminium Hydride, however, they have been blamed on the carbon dioxide impurity within the Diethyl Ether. Strong acids and oxidisers should be kept away from Diethyl Ether.