Diisopropyl ether

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Diisopropyl ether
IUPAC name
Other names
Diisopropyl oxide
Isopropyl ether
Molar mass 102.18 g/mol
Appearance Colorless liquid
Odor Ether-like
Density 0.725 g/cm3
Melting point −60 °C (−76 °F; 213 K)
Boiling point 68.5 °C (155.3 °F; 341.6 K)
0.2 g/100 ml at 20 °C
Solubility Miscible with glacial acetic acid, acetone, chloroform, diethyl ether, ethanol, hexane, THF, toluene
Immiscible with dimethylformamide
Vapor pressure 119 mmHg (20 °C)
Safety data sheet Sigma-Aldrich
Flash point −28 °C (−18 °F; 245 K)
Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):
8,470 mg/kg (rat, oral)
38,138 ppm (rat)
30,840 ppm (rabbit)
28,486 ppm (rabbit)
Related compounds
Related compounds
Diethyl ether
Dipropyl ether
Dibutyl ether
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Infobox references

Diisopropyl ether (DIPE) is an organic compound, secondary ether, used as a solvent in labs for certain reactions. It is not as widely used as other ethers, like diethyl ether, as it's more prone to forming explosive peroxides that can explode without concentration.



Diisopropyl ether is highly flammable and will burn in air if ignited.


Diisopropyl ether is a colorless liquid, with a sharp sweet smell, poorly soluble in water, but miscible with many organic solvents. It boils at 68.5 °C and freezes at −60 °C.


Diisopropyl ether is difficult to acquire from chemical suppliers, due to its hazards.


Can be prepared via acid ether synthesis of isopropanol.


  • Solvent for organic reactions



Diisopropyl ether can form explosive peroxides upon contact with air for long periods. This reaction proceeds more easily than for ethyl ether, due to the secondary carbon next to the oxygen atom. The stored solvent should therefore be tested every 3 months, compared to every 12 months for diethyl ether. Unlike in the case of other ethers, if the peroxide amount is high enough, diisopropyl ether may explode without concentration. Because of this phenomenon, old diisopropyl ether bottles are very dangerous.


Diisopropyl ether should be stored in glass bottles, in a dry cold place, away from any heat source. As it tends to form peroxides much easier that the other ethers, BHT, para-benzylamimophenol or a copper wire should be added, to limit the formation of peroxides.

A much better way to store DIPE is to keep it in a glass joint flask, like a round bottom flask or (for better stability) a flat bottom flask, where all the oxygen has been removed and replaced with an inert gas, like argon. Pieces of sodium metal should be added to remove any traces of oxygen. The flask should be sealed with a well greased stopcock, held in place with a clamp. Keep the ether flask in a safe place.


Diisopropyl ether can be safely burned, unless it has peroxides. If the ether tests positive for peroxides but there is no precipitate in the ether, it's possible to neutralize the dissolved peroxides. Reducing agents, like ferrous sulfate, sodium bisulfite or metabisulfite added in excess can be used to neutralize the peroxides. After neutralization, the ether should be tested again for peroxides and if none are present, it can be safely burned.

If it's an old bottle, which has visible peroxide in the solution, or if very old, is very likely to have peroxides on the cap, DO NOT OPEN THE BOTTLE! Moving the diisopropyl ether bottle is very dangerous, as the material has been known to detonate even when wet. The latter requires professional help.


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