DME/Iso-Butane Solvent Partition



I was having troubling finding information on dimethyl ether’s solubility in any other solvents so I thought I’d post on here and see if anyone has data on this or if anyone has done this before.

I’m curious as to whether dimethyl ether and isobutane are misicible with one another. DME has been shown to be effective for dissolving terpenes, pigments, and proteins so it would be interesting to see what all could be pulled from a layer of isobutane after having extracted with it and adding DME to the solution.

Both solvents boil at -11°F so harmful solvent residues shouldn’t be an issue.

If someone can tell me if one will float on the other I’ll buy some DME and test this out.

Edit: DME is toxic.


Or alternatively, I can run dimethyl ether through the material column after having ran isobutane through it.

Then try running the DME solution through a bleaching column to try to remove the pigments and try to get me some of these water soluble terpenes I keep hearing about.


Why not dme first


I dont know, it just doesnt seem very attractive to me. I think that the adsorbents that are working well to remove pigments in butane may or may not work well with another solvent, but I would be open to testing that as well while I’ve got the gas.

We already know isobutane works so well why fix what ain’t broken that’s kinda how I was thinking about it.

I’m really interested in seeing if it has a higher affinity for the monoterpenes than isobutane does.


@Shadownaught would you happen to have any info on the solubility of dimethyl ether in hydrocarbons?


From the Butane wiki:

Very soluble in ethanol, ethyl ether, chloroform

Lide, D.R., G.W.A. Milne (eds.). Handbook of Data on Organic Compounds. Volume I. 3rd ed. CRC Press, Inc. Boca Raton ,FL. 1994., p. V2: 1769

I am not very knowledgable about ethers so I dont know if diethyl ether is that different in solubility as ethyl ether.


Dimethyl ether is a very polar solvent, dissolves in water.

Diethyl ether is a mostly non polar solvent, and will hardly dissolve in water.


Looks like I’ll be trying this out after all.


Methoxymethane is synonym for dimethyl ether, and according to this patent it effectively dissolves alfatoxins. Enough so that the peanut meal discussed in the patent was deemed safe to consume.

Perhaps an Isobutane/Dimethyl ether LLE solvent system could accomplish the same thing a hexane/acetonitrile LLE could in terms of aflatoxin removal but with the distinct advantage of not having to work with acetonitrile and also the lower boiling points.


two relatively important parameters of dimethyl ether: Its Hildebrand Solubility Parameter is 7.3 and Kauri-Butanol index is 90 (INVENTEC). For comparision, Hildebrand Solubility Parameter of diethyl ether is 7.62 (Solubility Parameters: Theory and Application). According to this reference, if two solvents have about the same Hildebrand values, theoretically, such solvents should have solubility behaviors similar to each other.

Thus, dimethyl ether should behave similar to diethyl ether (in liquid phase, I believe). Keep in mind that most of hydrocarbons dissolve in diethyl ether in all ratios

One of the guys over at the chemistry stack exchange was kind enough to share with me some data on the polarity of dimethyl ether. According to the predictions given by the Hildebrand solubility parameter value DME has, it will act in liquid solution very similar to the way Diethyl ether acts which means it will likely dissolve in hydrocarbons. :frowning: