I'm having trouble finding information on the solubility of dimethyl ether in a hydrocarbon like butane, propane, or isobutane.

I've read that its soluble in methanol, ethanol, isoproanol, chlorinated hydrocarbons, and toluene but cant find much else.

Assuming 1 atmosphere of pressure and both chemicals are at a temperature of -11°F, would the then liquid isobutane be misicible with liquid Dimethyl ether?

  • $\begingroup$ DME is a polar aprotic compound; hydrocarbons like butane or propane are for the major part, non-polar; like dissolves like. $\endgroup$ – Yusuf Hasan Feb 12 '19 at 19:57
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    $\begingroup$ Your choice for the example for the miscibility with butane and propane is strange as both are gases at STP. Are you asking about solubility at higher pressures? $\endgroup$ – andselisk Feb 12 '19 at 20:50
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    $\begingroup$ @andselisk : And dimethyl ether is a gas at STP as well. Yet, if OP is asking solubility of gases, it's okay. $\endgroup$ – Mathew Mahindaratne Feb 12 '19 at 23:33
  • $\begingroup$ I was asking about solubility of these solvents as liquids at higher pressure but I've got no specific pressure value to give you for that question. So in an attempt to simplify this question, lets use Isobutane and Dimethyl ether as the example gasses since they both have a boiling point of -11°F assuming it's cold enough for the gasses to be liquid would one dissolve in the other in significant amounts? $\endgroup$ – Scooby doobie Feb 13 '19 at 8:18
  • $\begingroup$ Would be better to take hexane and diethylether so you focus to the core of your curiosity. @YUSUF HASAN true but common ethers go smoothly with hexane, cyclohexane, toluene, petroleum ether(s), ... $\endgroup$ – Alchimista Feb 14 '19 at 9:34

Since dimethyl ether is a very uncommon solvent, it's not a big surprise that you have hard time finding its information just using Google. However, I found two relatively important parameters of dimethyl ether: Its Hildebrand Solubility Parameter is 7.3 and Kauri-Butanol index is 90 (INVENTEC). For comparision, Hildebrand Solubility Parameter of diethyl ether is 7.62 (Solubility Parameters: Theory and Application). According to this reference, if two solvents have about the same Hildebrand values, theoretically, such solvents should have solubility behaviors similar to each other.

Thus, dimethyl ether should behave similar to diethyl ether (in liquid phase, I believe). Keep in mind that most of hydrocarbons dissolve in diethyl ether in all ratios. For example, we run column chromatography using such solvent systems (diethyl ether/hexanes) to isolate close nonpolar organic compounds from complex mixtures.


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