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Dimethyl ether

This article is about dimethyl ether. It is not to be confused with dimethoxyethane.
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Dimethyl ether

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Systematic IUPAC name
Methoxymethane[1]
Other names
Demeon

Dimethyl oxide
Dymel A
Methyl ether
Mether

Wood ether
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This page is a soft redirect.- Abbreviations DME 1730743 115-10-6 7pxY ChEBI CHEBI:28887 7pxY ChEMBL ChEMBL119178 7pxY ChemSpider 7956 7pxY EC number 204-065-8 Jmol-3D images Image KEGG C11144 7pxY MeSH Dimethyl+ether PubChem Template:Chembox PubChem/format RTECS number PM4780000 Template:Chembox UNII UN number 1033 colspan=2 style="background:#f8eaba; border-top:2px solid transparent; border-bottom:2px solid transparent; text-align:center;" #REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect. Properties

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C2H6O Molar mass Lua error in Module:Math at line 495: attempt to index field 'ParserFunctions' (a nil value). g·mol−1 Appearance Colorless gas Odor Typical Density 2.1146 kg/m³ (gas, 0 °C, 1013 mbar)[2]
0.735 g/mL (liquid, -25 °C)[2] Melting point Script error: No such module "convert". Boiling point Script error: No such module "convert". 71 g dm−3 (at Script error: No such module "convert".) log P 0.022 Vapor pressure >100 kPa Dipole moment 1.30 D colspan=2 style="background:#f8eaba; border-top:2px solid transparent; border-bottom:2px solid transparent; text-align:center;" #REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
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65.57 J K−1 mol−1 −184.1 kJ mol−1 −1.4604 MJ mol−1 colspan=2 style="background:#f8eaba; border-top:2px solid transparent; border-bottom:2px solid transparent; text-align:center;" #REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
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GHS pictograms The flame pictogram in the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) GHS signal word Danger H220 P210, P410+403 EU Index 603-019-00-8 EU classification Extremely Flammable F+ R-phrases R12 S-phrases (S2), S9, S16, S33 NFPA 704

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Related ethers
Diethyl ether

Polyethylene glycol

Related compounds
Ethanol

Methanol

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Thermodynamic
data

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Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
 14pxY verify (what is10pxY/10pxN?) Infobox references

Dimethyl ether (DME), also known as methoxymethane, is the organic compound with the formula CH3OCH3, simplified to C2H6O. The simplest ether, it is a colorless gas that is a useful precursor to other organic compounds and an aerosol propellant and is being researched on as a future energy option. It is an isomer of ethanol.

Production

Approximately 50,000 tons were produced in 1985 in Western Europe by dehydration of methanol:[3]

2 CH3OH → (CH3)2O + H2O

The required methanol is obtained from synthesis gas (syngas).[4] In principle, the methanol could be obtained from organic waste or biomass. Other possible improvements call for a dual catalyst system that permits both methanol synthesis and dehydration in the same process unit, with no methanol isolation and purification.[4][5]

Both the one-step and two-step processes above are commercially available. Currently, there is more widespread application of the two-step process since it is relatively simple and start-up costs are relatively low. It is worth mentioning that there is a developing one-step liquid-phase process.[4][6]

Applications

The largest use of dimethyl ether is as the feedstock for the production of the methylating agent, dimethyl sulfate, which entails its reaction with sulfur trioxide:

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This application consumes several thousand tons of dimethyl ether annually.

Dimethyl ether can also be converted into acetic acid using carbonylation technology related to the Monsanto acetic acid process:[3]

Template:Chem/atomTemplate:Chem/atomTemplate:Chem/atomTemplate:Chem/atomTemplate:Chem/atom + 2 CO + H2O → 2 CH3COOH

Laboratory reagent and solvent

Dimethyl ether is a low-temperature solvent and extraction agent, applicable to specialised laboratory procedures. Its usefulness is limited by its low boiling point (Script error: No such module "convert".), but the same property facilitates its removal from reaction mixtures. Dimethyl ether is the precursor to the useful alkylating agent, trimethyloxonium tetrafluoroborate.[7]

Niche applications

A mixture of dimethyl ether and propane is used in an over-the-counter device to treat warts, by freezing them.[8][9]

Dimethyl ether is the main constituent of freezer spray, used as a low temperature source in field testing of electronic components.[10]

Research

Fuel

File:Chemrec 5 - small.JPG
Installation of BioDME synthesis towers at Chemrec's pilot facility

A potentially major use of dimethyl ether is as substitute for propane in LPG used as fuel in household and industry.[11]

It is also a promising fuel in diesel engines,[12] petrol engines (30% DME / 70% LPG), and gas turbines. For diesel engines, an advantage is the high cetane number of 55, compared to that of diesel fuel from petroleum, which is 40–53.[13] Only moderate modifications are needed to convert a diesel engine to burn dimethyl ether. The simplicity of this short carbon chain compound leads during combustion to very low emissions of particulate matter, NOx, and CO. For these reasons as well as being sulfur-free, dimethyl ether meets even the most stringent emission regulations in Europe (EURO5), U.S. (U.S. 2010), and Japan (2009 Japan).[14] Mobil uses dimethyl ether in their methanol to gasoline process.[citation needed]

Dimethyl ether is being developed as a synthetic second generation biofuel (BioDME), which can be manufactured from lignocellulosic biomass.[15] Currently the EU is considering BioDME in its potential biofuel mix in 2030;[16] the Volvo Group is the coordinator for the European Community Seventh Framework Programme project BioDME[17][18] where Chemrec's BioDME pilot plant based on black liquor gasification is nearing completion in Piteå, Sweden.[19]

In 2009 a team of university students from Denmark won the Urban Concept/Internal Combustion class at the European Shell Eco Marathon (The Shell Eco Marathon is an unofficial World Championship for mileage) with a vehicle running on 100% dimethyl ether. The vehicle drove 589 km/liter, fuel equivalent to gasoline with a 50 ccm 2-stroke engine operating by the Diesel principle. As well as winning they beat the old standing record of 306 km/liter, set by the same team in 2007.[20]

Processes

The image below illustrates some of processes from various raw materials to dimethyl ether.

Refrigerant

Dimethyl ether is considered a refrigerant with ASHRAE refrigerant designation R-E170. Dimethyl ether is also used in refrigerant blends with e.g. ammonia, carbon dioxide, butane and propene.[21]

Safety

Unlike other alkyl ethers, dimethyl ether resists autoxidation. Dimethyl ether is also relatively non-toxic, although it is highly flammable.

References

  1. ^ "dimethyl ether - PubChem Public Chemical Database". The PubChem Project. USA: National Center for Biotechnology Information. 
  2. ^ a b Record in the GESTIS Substance Database of the IFA
  3. ^ a b Manfred Müller, Ute Hübsch, “Dimethyl Ether” in Ullmann’s Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, 2005. doi:10.1002/14356007.a08_541
  4. ^ a b c Dimethyl Ether Technology and Markets 07/08-S3 Report, ChemSystems, December 2008.
  5. ^ P.S. Sai Prasad et al., Fuel Processing Technology, 2008, 89, 1281.
  6. ^ Air Products Technology Offerings
  7. ^ T. J. Curphey (1988). "Trimethyloxonium tetrafluoroborate". Org. Synth. ; Coll. Vol. 6, p. 1019 
  8. ^ "A Pharmacist's Guide to OTC Therapy: OTC Treatments for Warts". July 2006. 
  9. ^ http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/pdf3/K030838.pdf
  10. ^ http://www.electrolube.com/products/msds/044FRE.pdf
  11. ^ IDA Fact Sheet DME/LPG Blends 2010 v1
  12. ^ nycomb.se, Nycomb Chemicals company
  13. ^ http://www.topsoe.com/site.nsf/all/BBNN-5PNJ3F?OpenDocument topsoe.com
  14. ^ http://www.japantransport.com/conferences/2006/03/dme_detailed_information.pdf, Conference on the Development and Promotion of Environmentally Friendly Heavy Duty Vehicles such as DME Trucks, Washington DC, March 17, 2006
  15. ^ http://www.biodme.eu/
  16. ^ Biofuels in the European Union, 2006
  17. ^ http://www.volvo.com/group/global/en-gb/newsmedia/pressreleases/NewsItemPage.htm?channelId=2184&ItemID=47984&sl=en-gb
  18. ^ http://www.volvo.com/group/global/en-gb/volvo+group/ourvalues/environment/renewable_fuels/biodme/biodme.htm
  19. ^ Chemrec press release September 9, 2010
  20. ^ The Danish Ecocar Team - List of achievements
  21. ^ http://www.ashrae.org/technology/page/1933#et ASHRAE list of refrigerants
http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1955&context=iracc
http://www.eurammon.com/sites/default/files/attachments/eurammon12engl.pdf

External links

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