Heating together sodium ethoxide and ethyl chloride will give:

The reaction represents Williamson’s synthesis.

An alkyl halide is to be primary, so a nucleophilic substitution reaction occurs. Because with tertiary alkyl halides, alkenes are formed. Alkoxides are nucleophiles and strong bases.

  • The Williamson ether synthesis is an SN2 reaction in which an alkoxide ion is a nucleophile that displaces a halide ion from an alkyl halide to give an ether.

C2H5Cl + C2H5ONa → C2H5OC2H5 + NaCl

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