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Last updated date: 29th Nov 2023
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MVSAT Dec 2023

How can one classify ether?

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Hint: The ether functional group consists of an oxygen atom that forms single bonds with two carbon atoms. Diethyl ether is perhaps the best known ether. Ethers are classified into two ways as simple and unsymmetrical.

Complete answer:
Ethers are a class of organic compounds that contain an ether group—an oxygen atom connected to two alkyl or aryl groups. They have the general formula \[R - 0 - {R'}\] ,where $R$ and $R'$ represent the alkyl or aryl groups. Ethers can again be classified into two varieties: if the alkyl groups are the same on both sides of the oxygen atom, then it is a simple or symmetrical ether, whereas if they are different, the ethers are called mixed or unsymmetrical ethers
In the $IUPAC$ Nomenclature system, ethers are named using the general formula alkyl alkane for example $C{H_3} - C{H_2} - O - CH{ _3}$ is methoxy ethane. If the ether is part of a more-complex molecule, it is described as an alkoxy substituent, so $ - OC{H_3}$ would be considered a methoxy group.
A typical example of the first group is the solvent and anesthetic diethyl ether, commonly referred to simply as ether $C{H_3} - C{H_2} - O - C{H_2} - C{H_3}$. Ethers are common in organic chemistry and even more prevalent in biochemistry, as they are common linkages in carbohydrates and lignin.
There is very little intermolecular association. Therefore, the properties of ethers are much like alkanes. Ethers are essentially non-polar and insoluble in water.

They are relatively unreactive, and as a result they are useful as solvents for fats, oils, waxes, perfumes, resins, dyes, gums, and hydrocarbons. Vapours of certain ethers are used as insecticides and fumigants for soil.