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4x5 Shotgun Diethyl ether

Walt pouring Dietyl ether in a cook session.

Diethyl ether, also known as ethyl ether, sulfuric ether, simply ether, or ethoxyethane, is an organic compound in the ether class. Diethyl ether is a common laboratory solvent often used for liquid-liquid extractions (generally called solvent extractions).


It has limited solubility in water (6.05 g/100 mL at 25 °C) It is a colorless, highly volatile flammable liquid. It is commonly used as a solvent and was once used as a general anesthetic. It has narcotic properties and has been known to cause temporary psychological addiction, sometimes referred to as etheromania. Diethyl ether forms an organic layer above an aqueous layer, so Walt could have been using it as a potential solvent for the reaction if phenylacetic acid turned out to be less soluble.


In the superlab, Walt and Jessie are seen handling large jugs of diethyl ether.

Several times, they are seen pouring it inside the meth reactor.


  • As Walt uses the P2P route for the production of Blue Sky, diethyl ether is not suitable as a solvent for the synthesis step. Yet, in one montage, Walt and Jessie are seen pouring the ether first in the reactor before anything else, meaning they use it as a solvent for the P2P reductive amination, even though the P2P route is usually done in water or isopropanol, or without a solvent. While diethyl ether could be used for extracting the freebase methamphetamine from the reaction product, dichloromethane (DCM) is generally preferred, as it's even less soluble in water, non-flammable and easier to get in large amounts as it's not listed in any DEA precursor list. Diethyl ether is the preferred solvent for Grignard reactions, which are sometimes used for the preparation of meth precursors (like PAA and P2P), but in this case that is not needed, as Walt already has P2P.

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