Topics - Tetrahydrofuran
Tetrahydrofuran (diethylene oxide, or tetramethylene oxide) is a cyclic ether with a molecul;ar weight of 72.10 and an elemental analysis of 66.63% carbon, 11.18% hydrogen and 22.19% oxygen. It has an ether-like odor and readily forms peroxides in the presence of air or oxygen and, therefore, usually requires stabilization, particularly if it is to be distilled. It is sometimes used as a binary mixture with water, or as a ternery mixture with water and acetonitrile, as mobile phases in liquid chromatography when employing a dispersive stationary phase. Tetrahydrofuran is basically dispersive in character as a result of its four methylene groups but has some polar interactive capability as a result of the oxygen in the ether group. As the tetrahydrofuran content of aqueous mobile phase is increased, so does the dispersive (hydrophobic) activity of the mobile phase and, thus, competes with the stationary phase for dispersive dominance in the competitive interactive process. Its interactive charcter is similar to that of acetonitrile but somewhat more dispersive.