Sodium ethoxide is one of the components used to synthesize diethyl ester of malonic acid apart from ethyl ester. Sodium ethoxide is also used in Claisen condensation.
Sodium ethoxide is the organic compound which dissolves in polar solvents such as ethanol. It is considered as a strong base which can be synthesized by chemically reacting sodium hydroxide or sodium metal with ethyl alcohol. This in a way helps to create sodium ethoxide in a liquid form.
There are various procedures that have been reported to the anhydrous solid. Generally, this material is typically prepared in a solution with ethanol. When it comes to commercially availability, it is available as a solution in ethanol. This can also be prepared in the laboratory by treating sodium metal with absolute ethanol.
There are also other alternative and cheaper route that involves the reaction of sodium hydroxide with anhydrous ethanol. In this case, the reaction suffers from incomplete conversion to the alkoxide as for less stringent applications full conversion is not that important. The salt sodium ethoxide can be purified by precipitation in a solution of anhydrous acetone. This reaction process can also be improved by removing generated water with molecular sieves.
The end product of the reaction between sodium hydroxide and anhydrous ethanol gives Sodium ethoxide along with the water. This water can be removed by using a drying agent and it leaves behind the sodium ethoxide that has a greater purity. This solid or powdered form of Sodium ethoxide is yellow in colour.
The solid sodium ethoxide generally turns dark on storage in dry air due to oxidation. With the presence of moisture in the air, it hydrolyzes rapidly to sodium hydroxide. This conversion is not a typical sample and generally is contaminated with NaOH.
Sodium ethoxide is typically used in Claisen condensation and it also forms one of the components used to synthesize diethyl ester of malonic acid.