Tetrahydrofuran or Diethyl Ether – Which to Use?

Tetrahydrofuran (C4H8O) is a heterocyclic hydrocarbon. One of the carbon atoms of a cyclopentane ring (along with its two hydrogen atoms) is replaced by an atom of oxygen. THF is an ether. It's frequently used for its solvent properties. In certain organometallic reactions, tetrahydrofuran replaces all or part of the standard solvent diethyl ether, (C2H5-O-C2H5), written in chemists' shorthand Et-O-Et. Tetrahydrofuran Vs. Diethyl Ether Although THF is essentially diethyl ether gone cyclic, its physical properties differ somewhat. A prime example of that relates to hydrogen bonding. Although both molecules possess an electron-rich oxygen atom, in THF, the oxygen is openly exposed. The ring can twist, but that's about it. The hydrocarbon portions of ethyl ether¹ have much greater freedom of motion. They can sweep around, making hydrogen bonding easier to…
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Dimethylsulfoxide, DMSO: Snake Oil? Why or Why Not?

Chemistry, History
[caption id="attachment_24310" align="alignright" width="480"] Dimethylsulfoxide[/caption]An exciting discovery received the public’s attention during the 1960s. Researchers discovered an unlikely organic compound, dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) might be useful in delivering medications safely through the skin. The general public, in their enthusiasm, sometimes lay hold of a concept and run with it. Then, if there is negative publicity, the fickle public may – just as quickly – drop the idea. This is well-illustrated in an article produced for the (former) Decoded Science website by author John A. Jaksich, entitled Potassium Bromate: Food Additive and Carcinogen? Yet, was the rise and fall of DMSO popularity due to a fickle public, or was it due to an organizational structure of rigid rules that holds back advances, despite advantages the public might receive? For example, drug approval…
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