I am synthesizing a sol-gel solution with Zinc acetate dihydrate + Methoxyethanol and ethanolamine as stabilizer, and I wonder what are the reactions that are taking place in the process. Could you help me please? More details: I had zinc atetate dihydrate (sigma aldrich 99.999% trace metal basis) and I added 0.913 g to 20 mL of Methoxyethanol. It was stirred at 60 °C during 30 minutes. Then, 1 mL of ethanolamine (stabilizer) was added, and the solution was stirred during 90 minutes at 60 °C. After that, it was kept aging at room temperature during 24 hours, and then stirred at 60 °C during 3 hours (were the solvents vaporized and the sol gel was formed).

  • $\begingroup$ For the lack of preparation, the presentation of this question is a bad one. "Somewhere", "someone" had the idea to mix these chemicals in "some ratio"/"somehow". You possibly pick up the mode opératoire from a literature reference, so cite it. Chances are that the author(s) of the original publication in turn reference to prior work, too. $\endgroup$
    – Buttonwood
    Feb 10 at 8:46
  • $\begingroup$ Edited, sorry for the lack of information $\endgroup$
    – Chemistry
    Feb 10 at 10:38
  • $\begingroup$ No, @Poutnik I created my account 3 hours ago! $\endgroup$
    – Chemistry
    Feb 10 at 12:49
  • $\begingroup$ @Chemistry I see. I apologize, coincidences may happen anytime. I have posted the above because such deletions/repostings occur frequently. $\endgroup$
    – Poutnik
    Feb 10 at 12:53

1 Answer 1


Zinc acetate ($\ce{Zn(CH3COO)2}$) is known to form the complex $\ce{Zn4O(CH3COO)6}$ with loss of acetic anhydride on heating. 2-methoxyethanol and ethanolamine will also evaporate, leaving the Zinc complex as your sol gel.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Ethanolamine will react with the acetic anhydride. It also has a boiling point of 175C and2-methoxyethanol has a boiling point of ~125C so I don't see them evaporating off very readily. $\endgroup$
    – Waylander
    Feb 10 at 13:49
  • $\begingroup$ @Waylander at 60C they will both have a vapor pressure. Ethanolamine will react with the anhydride, but equilibria over days has most of the volatiles leaving. $\endgroup$ Feb 10 at 14:30
  • $\begingroup$ What is the reaction between ethanolamine and the acetic anhydride? Does methoxyethanol do not react? $\endgroup$
    – Chemistry
    Feb 13 at 7:52
  • $\begingroup$ Also, how is the complex formed? I'm chemical engineer and I don't really know about mechanisms and I'm quite lost... If you could put the reactions please, it would be marvellous. $\endgroup$
    – Chemistry
    Feb 13 at 8:07
  • $\begingroup$ @Chemistry the amine is "stronger" than the free alcohol group in reacting with the carbonyl group of the anhydride. This is undergraduate organic chemistry. Team up with an organic and analytical chemist. $\endgroup$ Feb 13 at 14:22

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