Ethyl Acetate Formula

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What is Ethyl Acetate?

A carboxylate ester, ethyl acetate, is a result of the chemical reaction between acetic acid and ethanol. Ethyl acetate is classified as a carboxylate ester because it is formed due to a reaction between an alcohol and carboxylic acid. A polar aprotic solvent, ethyl acetate chemical formula is CH3COOC2H5. It is called a polar aprotic solvent because it contains no hydrogen atoms directly interacting with the electronegative atom. Therefore, this substance is incapable of hydrogen bonding.


The synthetic version of ethyl acetate is derived via Fischer esterification, and another alternative way to synthesize this compound is via Tishchenko reaction. One of the chief uses of ethyl acetate is courtesy of its solvent properties. It is used as a standard solvent. Therefore, one can find ethyl acetate extensively used in varnishes, paints, cleaning, perfumes, and lacquers.


Ethyl acetate is used extensively in laboratories as a universal solvent for thin-layer chromatography. Ethyl acetate is also found in spirits, fruit juices, beer, wine, cereal crops, and alcoholic drinks.


Did you know? Ethyl acetate is a very common chemical. Ethyl acetate molecular formula makes it have an innumerable household and industrial applications. It is used in various products because of its universal solvent properties. Being a colourless liquid compound, it has a sweet, pleasant smell or odour, but its storage and handling should be taken with utmost precaution. Being a highly combustible compound, there are certain considerations to make when storing ethyl acetate.


What are the Factors to Consider When Storing, Handing Ethyl Acetate?

It is recommended to wear protective equipment when handling ethyl acetate. Ethyl acetate structural formula makes this compound highly flammable; it is advisable to keep this compound far away from any flame or areas where a fire source can potentially set the compound on fire. So, the best way to store ethyl acetate is to store it in an area that is not exposed to heat or flame-producing triggers. Also, when handling ethyl acetate, it is advisable to wear a vapour respirator, gloves, and safety glasses.


What are the Steps to Take When Exposed to Ethyl Acetate?

In case of accidental exposure, or unknowing exposure, the following steps can be undertaken to reduce the bad effects of exposure to ethyl acetate.

  • Inhalation:

Fresh air has to be sought immediately. In case the victim experiences difficulty breathing, then administering oxygen immediately would be the prime concern. If the victim is not breathing, artificial respiration has to be given. Immediate medical attention has to be given.

  • Eye Contact:

If the substance has gotten into the eyes, the eyes have to be flushed immediately with plenty of water.

  • Skin Contact:

The affected area, has to be washed with soap and water immediately. An emollient can be used to cover irritated skin.

  • Ingestion:

Vomiting should not be induced. Tight clothing should be loosened. An unconscious person should not be fed with any liquid or food.


What are the Ways to Store Ethyl Acetate?

Generally, an approved area has to be identified to store ethyl acetate so that it is not exposed to igniting triggers. The chemical can also become flammable on exposure to moisture, and therefore should be kept in a well-ventilated, cool, and dry place.


What are the Common Uses of Ethyl Acetate?

As ethyl acetate is manufactured on a large scale, it is generally not available in households unless purchased. Over tons of this substance are manufactured at chemical plants. The chemical finds a wide variety of usage because of its low-cost and agreeable odour. The chemical is used in cigarettes, glue, perfume, artificial flavouring substances, paint, etc. Ethyl acetate also finds uses in decaffeinating commonly consumed beverages such as coffee and tea.


In the laboratory, ethyl acetate is used in extractions and column chromatography. It is not used as a reaction solvent. This is due to it being prone to hydrolysis – A condition by which a substance is unable to bind to water.


In wine production, the most common ester used is ethyl acetate. The fact that it is a byproduct of acetic acid, an organic acid, and ethyl alcohol during the fermentation process makes this substance a perfect one to use in wine production. Being an ester, and the fact that it has been derived from an acidic compound, ethyl acetate has a sweet smell.


The quality of having a nice pleasant odour gives the perception of the fruitiness of the wine. However, excessive amounts of ethyl acetate could increase people's sensitivity towards the wine and could produce a condition called wine fault.


Fun Facts About Ethyl Acetate

  • The chemical was first synthesized by distillation of a mixture of ethanol and acetic acid by Count De Lauranguais. This was in 1759. Since then, and till now, ethyl acetate has grown in popularity because of ethyl acetate properties that are convenient for mass production.

  • It is estimated that roughly about 1.3 million tonnes of this chemical are produced every year worldwide.

  • The global ethyl acetate production value is estimated to be about \[\$\] 3.3 billion.

  • Experiments in animals suggest that too much exposure to ethyl acetate either directly or indirectly through products that use this chemical can cause central nervous system afflictions. It can produce symptoms of depression and even haemorrhages.

  • Ethyl acetate is also used as an asphyxiate compound, which is useful in insect collecting. It is used in killing jars to collect insects. The fact that it is not hygroscopic assures that the insects’ exteriors are soft enough to be collected.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What are Some of the Properties of Ethyl Acetate, and What is the Formula for Ethyl Acetate?

Ans: It has a molecular weight value of 88.11. Ethyl acetate density and viscosity is 0.423 at 25°C. Vapour pressure is 73 mmHg (20°C). Its boiling point is 76.5 - 77.5°C. Ethyl acetate formula is CH3COOC2H5. Abbreviated as EtOAc, ethyl acetate is derived by substituting the hydroxyl group with an ethoxy group. Although in the carbonyl group there is a C sp2, tetrahedral geometry comprises the other part of the geometry.


Ethyl acetate is soluble in most organic solvents yet not soluble in water. Although there are many ways to prepare ethyl acetate, the primary method is the esterification process to convert carboxylic acid to ester.

2. How is Ethyl Acetate Used in Entomology? Which Foods Contain Ethyl Acetate?

Ans: Entomology is the study of insects. Entomologists use jars to capture insects. The jars are filled with vapours of this substance. The insects are captured without killing them.


Structure & formula for ethyl acetate makes it highly soluble and is used in food products too. Cakes, ice creams, candy, baked foods, and gums are examples of food containing this substance.


As ethyl acetate is considered environmentally safe, it is classified as non-toxic. Although classified as a hazardous substance, it is still produced en masse. It is extensively used as an artificial flavour in cakes, candies, and ice creams.