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1-ethoxydodecane is an asymmetrical ether used in production of sunscreen and moisturizing due to its nonpolar properties. One of the standard protocols for synthesizing both asymmetrical and symmetrical ethers is via the Williamson Ether Synthesis. The standard synthesis requires a 60-70 minute reflux time frame to allow for this reaction to run until completion; however, the ability to reduce this reaction time via microwave radiation has become increasingly prominent in organic synthesis. The conventional means of Williamson Ether Synthesis is also not ideal for optimal purity or speed, thus microwave synthesis of this compound was investigated. In order to obtain the greatest yield in the shortest amount of time, multiple reactions were run in order to optimize time and temperature parameters. . The optimal time parameter determined that allows for greatest yield and purity of product was 3 minutes, temperature was optimized to be 123°C, and wattage was optimized to be 1000W. Purity and proper formation of 1-ethoxydodecane was determined via 1H NMR, 13C NMR, and IR (as a basic assessment of functional group transformation from alcohol to ether).


Undergraduate Research Poster presented by undergraduate Kevin Hess and faculty advisor Linda Farber at the 247th annual meeting of the American Chemical Society, Division of Chemical Education, Dallas Texas, March 17, 2014.

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