Olefins can be formed by the treatment of ethers with very strong bases such as alkylsodium, alkylithium or sodamide.
The reactions is aided by electron withdrawing groups in the b-position. For example
C2H5OCH2CH(OCOOC2H5)2 ![if !vml]> CH2 = C(COOC2H5)2 + C2H5OH
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