MadSci Network: Chemistry

Re: Why is the solvent acetone more polar than diethyl ether?

Date: Mon Mar 21 23:31:35 2005
Posted By: Henry Boyter, Research Fellow
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 1108682451.Ch

The biggest difference is the symmetry of the molecules. In acetone, the carbon-oxygen bond is pulling in the opposite direction (polarity) from the rest of the atoms. in the ether, the molecule is symmetrical so the polarities mostly cancel out.

         C                O
       /  \             /   \
      CH3  CH3         CH3  CH3
      acetone       dimethyl ether

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