Spirit of nitrous ether

(Med. Chem.), a pale yellow liquid, of a sweetish taste and a pleasant ethereal odor. It is obtained by the distillation of alcohol with nitric and sulphuric acids, and consists essentially of ethyl nitrite with a little acetic aldehyde. It is used as a diaphoretic, diuretic, antispasmodic, etc. Called also Sweet Spirit of Niter.

The Composition and Structure of Ether:

The preparation of alcohol (spirit of wine, vinic alcohol, ethanol, ethyl alcohol) by fermentation dates to antiquity. Closely related to alcohol both through history and chemistry is ether (ethyl ether, diethyl ether) a compound obtained from alcohol by the action of oil of vitriol (sulfuric acid). When we use the term ether today, we mean specifically diethyl ether or perhaps the generic class of compounds of which it is a member. In the early part of the 19th century, the term "ether" was applied to any volatile including muriatic ether (ethyl chloride) and acetic ether (acid of vinegar or ethyl acetate).

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