1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using ether as an extraction solvent?
2. Why must the stopper at the top of the separatory funnel be removed before liquid can be withdrawn through the stopcock?
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1. The density of ether is less than 1. It forms separate layers with aqueous solutions, it has limited solubility in water (Ether is sparingly soluble in water (6.9 g/100 mL).
2. Ethers are aprotic polar solvents which dissolves most of the organic compounds
3. The melting point of ethers are negative (diethyl ether it is -114oC), extraction can be done at room temperature.
4. It offers easy recovery of extracts since ether has low boiling points it evaporates easily leaving behind the extracted solute
1. Its boiling point is low (ether =34oC), such low boiling solutions evaporate easily at room temperature.
2. Diethyl ether is extremely flammable. The autoignition temperature of diethyl ether is 160 °C (320 °F), therefore it can be ignited by a hot surface without a flame or spark.
3. Diethyl ether is susceptible to peroxide formation, and can form explosive diethyl ether peroxide. Ether peroxides are higher boiling and are contact explosives when dry.
4. Purification is difficult (Stam distillation is used in place of simple distillation which is difficult)
2. During extraction the separating funnel is shaked well in order to extract the solute present in the aqueous phase, during this process, ether(due to it easily vaporizable nature) comes out of the solution and create a pressure inside the separating funnel, this pressure should be released in order to attain equilibrium( separation of organic and aqueous phase).
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