Diethyl Ether

CAS RN:60-29-7

Environmental Fate

TERRESTRIAL FATE: Based on a classification scheme(1), an estimated Koc value of 73(SRC), determined from a log Kow of 0.89(2) and a regression-derived equation(3), indicates that diethyl ether is expected to have high mobility in soil(SRC). Volatilization of diethyl ether from moist soil surfaces is expected to be an important fate process(SRC) given a Henry's Law constant of 1.23X10-3 atm-cu m/mole(4). The potential for volatilization of diethyl ether from dry soil surfaces may exist(SRC) based upon an extrapolated vapor pressure of 538 mm Hg(5). Biodegradation of diethyl ether in soil is expected to be a slow process(SRC), based upon its slow biodegradation in an aqueous screening study(6).
AQUATIC FATE: Based on a classification scheme(1), an estimated Koc value of 73(SRC), determined from a log Kow of 0.89(2) and a regression-derived equation(3), indicates that diethyl ether is not expected to adsorb to suspended solids and sediment in water(SRC). Diethyl ether is expected to volatilize from water surfaces(3) based on a Henry's Law constant of 1.23X10-3 atm-cu m/mole(4). Using this Henry's Law constant and an estimation method(3), volatilization half-lives for a model river and model lake are 3.1 hours and 3.6 days, respectively(SRC). According to a classification scheme(5), BCFs ranging from 0.9 to 9.1 in carp(6) suggest bioconcentration in aquatic organisms is low(SRC). Biodegradation of diethyl ether in water is expected to be a slow process(SRC), based upon its slow biodegradation in an aqueous screening study(6).
ATMOSPHERIC FATE: According to a model of gas/particle partitioning of semivolatile organic compounds in the atmosphere(1), diethyl ether, which has an extrapolated vapor pressure of 538 mm Hg at 25 deg C(2), is expected to exist solely as a vapor in the ambient atmosphere. Vapor-phase diethyl ether is degraded in the atmosphere by reaction with photochemically-produced hydroxyl radicals and nitrate radicals(SRC); half-lives for these reactions in air are estimated to be 1.2 and 5.8 days, respectively(3,4). Direct photolysis is not expected to be an important removal process since aliphatic ethers do not absorb light in the environmental spectrum(5).
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