Molecules from the solvent environment that at first glance seem to be uninvolved can be essential for chemical reactions. This has been shown by researchers studying the formation of an ether in pure solvents and in their mixtures. They explained the underlying mechanisms in detail using advanced spectroscopic and theoretical techniques. The conclusion: even solvent molecules that do not participate directly in the reaction are essential for the reaction process and can significantly influence reaction partners.
from Geochemistry News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/2dvVyHA