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Author Topic: Drying potassium tert-butoxide?  (Read 4062 times)

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Drying potassium tert-butoxide?
« on: February 29, 2012, 08:54:14 AM »

A recent reaction I did gave me a bi-product I'd expect if there was water in the reaction, I've checked all the other sources and they seem fine, the only possible source of moisture might be coming from an old bottle of potassium-tert butoxide I've been using; has anyone ever dried tBuOK?  I've read one procedure that said to sublimate it, but I'd rather get a new bottle in that case, is there any other methods?


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Re: Drying potassium tert-butoxide?
« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2012, 09:42:19 AM »

tBuOK is very hygroscopic. Its likely that's the source of your moisture if you've eliminated all other possibilities. If your bottle smells like tBuOH there's definitely a problem.

I've heard about someone starting a fire by doing the resublimation* procedure wrong, but they opened the flask while it was still white hot so what do you really expect. If you've got the equipment, read up on exactly what you're supposed to do, and don't do anything stupid/insane in the process it should probably be ok, but overall it sounds like kind of a pain. Otherwise, its not a really expensive reagent. I like to get a small amount a few days before I need it and not keep it around when I'm done.

On another note, I've heard that potassium neopentoxide is almost as good a base but easier to keep dry. Anyone else have any info?

*I've always thought it was really cool to have gaseous ions flying around. Who thought to resublimate that stuff in the first place?
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