Illustrated Glossary of Organic Chemistry

Petroleum ether (pet ether): A petroleum distillation fraction having a low boiling range, typically around 30-60oC. Contains a mixture of low molecular weight aliphatic hydrocarbons. Commonly used as a nonpolar solvent.



bp 36oC

bp 61oC

bp 30oC
bp 49oC
Some typical petroleum ether components. Other cycloalkanes, alkenes, and alkynes may also be present.

Petroleum ether derives its name from its origin (petroleum) and its ease of evaporation, and not from the presence of an ether functional group.