Ethyl acetate is a clear colourless liquid with a fruity odour. It is found in alcoholic beverages. It is also found in cereal crops, radishes, fruit juices, beer, wine, spirits etc. It is produced by Anthemis nobilis (Roman chamomile) and the Rubus species. Ethyl Acetate is an organic ester compound with a molecular formula of CH3COOCH2CH3, commonly abbreviated as EtOAc or EA. It is highly miscible with all common organic solvents (alcohols, ketones, glycols, esters), which make it a common solvent for cleaning, paint removal and coatings. Due to its agreeable aroma and low cost, ethyl acetate is commonly used and manufactured large scale worldwide.
Ethyl acetate is synthesized in industry mainly via the Fischer esterification reaction with ethanol and acetic acid. This mixture converts to the ester in about 65% yield at room temperature: CH3CH2OH + CH3COOH → CH3COOCH2CH3 + H2O. The reaction can be accelerated by acid catalysis and the equilibrium can be shifted to the right by removal of water.
It can also be prepared using the Tishchenko reaction by combining two equivalents of acetaldehyde in the presence of an alkoxide catalyst: 2CH3CHO → CH3COOCH2CH3
Paint and Coating
It is used in a variety of paint and coating formulations such as epoxies, urethanes, acrylics and vinyls for applications in wood furniture and fixtures, agricultural, construction and mining equipment, auto refinishing, marine, etc.
Ethyl Acetate is a solvent and diluent because of its low cost, toxicity and agreeable odour. It is commonly used in a wide range of applications, including printing, inks, varnishes, and car care chemicals and in the production of enamels, plastics and rubber.
It also plays a role in manufacturing printing inks, in the packaging industry and in the production of adhesives. In perfumes, it evaporates quickly, leaving only the scent of perfume on the skin.