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Pharmazie. 2010 Apr;65(4):306-11.

History of organophosphate synthesis: the very early days.

Author information

  • College of Medicine, Florida International University, Department of Cellular Biology & Pharmacology, Miami, FL 33199, USA. georg.petroianu@fiu.edu


The early days of ether chemistry can be divided into two periods: before and after Williamson serendipitous discovery (1851) of a new and efficient way to produce ethers using ethyl iodide and potassium salts. In the early part of the 19th century however, before Williamson, the direct reaction between the "spirit of wine" (ethanol) and acids was the only method of generating the elusive "ethers". This brief report looks at the pharmacists-chemists involved in the quest to produce phosphoric acid ether in the pre-Williamson period (Boudet, Boullay, Lassaigne, Pelouze), paving the way for Voegeli's synthesis of triethyl phosphate (TEP) in 1848.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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