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Methyl vinyl ether is an organic compound with the chemical formula CH3OCH=CH2. A colorless gas, it is the simplest enol ether. Together with ethyl vinyl ether (a liquid at room temperature), it is used as a synthetic building block.

Methyl vinyl ether
Preferred IUPAC name
Other names
Ethenyl methyl ether
Vinyl methyl ether
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.003.161
Molar mass 58.080 g·mol−1
Density 0.77 g/cm−3[1]
Melting point −122 °C (−188 °F; 151 K)[1]
Boiling point 6 °C (43 °F; 279 K)[1]
Vapor pressure 157 kPa (20 °C)[1]
Extremely Flammable F+
R-phrases (outdated) R12
S-phrases (outdated) (S2), S9, S16, S33
Flash point −60 °C (−76 °F; 213 K)
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references


Methyl vinyl ether can be made by reaction of acetylene and methanol in presence of a base.[2][3]


The alkene portion of the molecule is reactive in many ways. It is prone to polymerization, leading to formation of polyvinyl ethers. Polymerization is typically initiated with Lewis acids such as boron trifluoride.[4] This mode of reactivity is analogous to the way vinyl acetate and vinyl chloride can be polymerized to form polyvinyl acetate and polyvinyl chloride, respectively.

Methyl vinyl ether also participates in [4+2] cycloaddition reactions.[5] The reaction of it with acrolein is the first step in the commercial synthesis of glutaraldehyde.

The alkene can be deprotonated adjacent to the oxygen attachment.[6] In particular, this approach allows synthesis of a variety of acyl derivatives of silicon, germanium, and tin that cannot be made easily by other routes.[7][8][9]


The toxicity of vinyl ethers has been heavily investigated because divinyl ether has been used as an anesthetic. The acute LD50 for methyl vinyl ether is greater than 4 g/kg (rats, oral).[3]


  1. ^ a b c d Record of Methylvinylether in the GESTIS Substance Database of the Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, accessed on 20 April 2008.
  2. ^ David Trimma, Noel Cant, Yun Lei (2009). "Oxygenated fuel additives: The formation of methyl vinyl ether and 1,1-dimethoxyethane by the catalysed reaction of acetylene with methanol". Catalysis Today. 145: 163–168. doi:10.1016/j.cattod.2008.04.015.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  3. ^ a b Ernst Hofmann, Hans‐Joachim Klimisch, René Backes, Regina Vogelsang, Lothar Franz, Robert Feuerhake (2011). "Vinyl Ethers". Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. Wiley-VCH. doi:10.1002/ maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  4. ^ Gerd Schröder (2012). "Poly(Vinyl Ethers)". Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. Wiley-VCH. doi:10.1002/14356007.a22_011.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  5. ^ Longley Jr., R. I.; Emerson, W. S. (1950). "The 1,4-Addition of Vinyl Ethers to α,β-Unsaturated Carbonyl Compounds". J. Am. Chem. Soc. 72 (7): 3079–3081. doi:10.1021/ja01163a076.
  6. ^ Lever Jr., O. W. (1976). "New horizons in carbonyl chemistry: reagents for nucleophilic acylation". Tetrahedron. 32: 1943–1971. doi:10.1016/0040-4020(76)80088-9.
  7. ^ Soderquist, J. A.; Hassner, A. (1980). "Synthetic methods. 15. Unsaturated acyl derivatives of silicon, germanium, and tin from metalated enol ethers". J. Am. Chem. Soc. 102: 1577–1583. doi:10.1021/ja00525a019.
  8. ^ Soderquist, J. A.; Hassner, A. (1980). "Vinylmetalloids. 3. Sila- and germacyclopentan-2-ones from metallated enol ethers". J. Org. Chem. 45: 541–543. doi:10.1021/jo01291a041.
  9. ^ Soderquist, J. A. (1990). "Acetyltrimethylsilane". Org. Synth. 68: 25. doi:10.15227/orgsyn.068.0025.