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Why can sodium metal can be used for drying diethyl ether and benzene but not ethanol?

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Because sodium metal reacts with ethanol and, of course, with other alcohols: see the Nuffield Students Book experiment 2.2a (page 32) and discussion on page 35, or any other A-level chemistry textbook chapter on alcohols. Jenkin Risk assessment Before attempting any practical work based on the advice and suggestions on this website, you must do the following. Identify any hazards, assess the risks from these hazards, and then decide appropriate control measures to reduce the risks. You must have these approved by those in authority in your school or college laboratory. Do not rely on what is said on this website. For further guidance see our tutorial on Risk Assessment. back to Alcohols Rate this page or react Share your views on this page, 2 ratings so far , rated at function openpopup(){ var popurl="/go/Feedback/FeedbackForm_146.html?content_id=3550&content_type=3&r=0" winpops=window.open(popurl,"","width=630,height=500,") } function openpopup2(form){ if ((!form.rating[0].checked) ... more
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