Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Boiling point of ethers and alkanes

  1. May 19, 2014 #1
    My organic chemistry textbook says that ethers generally have higher boiling points than alkanes because of dipole-diole interactions, but why then does hexane have a higher boiling point than ethyl-propyl-ether? Is this principle then not true for larger alkanes with 5 or more carbons? Diethyl ether also has a higher boiling point than pentane, but then butane has a higher B.P than ethyl methyl ether.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 20, 2014 #2
    2 reasons:

    1) As an alkane or alkyl gets longer but does not branch, its BP increases b/c it can have more Van der Waals interactions; thus, ethyl-propyl-ether has a higher bp than ethyl methyl ether;;; hexane has a higher BP than pentance, etc.

    hope this helps.
  4. May 21, 2014 #3


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    IMHO "generally" suggests it is just a rule of thumb, and as such can often fail.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: Boiling point of ethers and alkanes
  1. Boiling points (Replies: 1)

  2. Boiling points? (Replies: 5)

  3. Boiling Points (Replies: 3)

  4. Boiling point (Replies: 1)

  5. Boiling Point (Replies: 7)