ChEBI: A benzyl ether in which the oxygen atom is connected to two benzyl groups.
Reflux the ether over sodium, then distil it under reduced pressure. It been purified by fractional freezing. [Beilstein 6 IV 2240.]
Colorless liquid with a mild odor.
Inhalation may cause nausea because of disagreeable odor. Contact of liquid with eyes causes mild irritation. Prolonged exposure of skin to liquid causes reddening and irritation. Ingestion produces nausea.
Benzyl ether can act as a base to form salts with strong acids and addition complexes with Lewis acids. May react violently with strong oxidizing agents. Burns readily but relatively inert in other reactions, which typically involve the breaking of the carbon-oxygen bond.
Air & Water Reactions
Oxidizes readily in air to form unstable peroxides that may explode spontaneously [Bretherick, 1979 p.151-154, 164]. Insoluble in water.
Benzyl ether is combustible.
Plasticizer for nitrocellulose; solvent in perfumery.