Ethyl acetate (C₄H₈O₂)

Ethyl acetate (C₄H₈O₂)

One of the most important esters, produced by the reaction of ethanol and acetic acid.



chemistry, ethyl acetate, ester, ester group

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Ethyl acetate C₄H₈O₂


Molar mass: 88.11 g/mol

Melting point: -83.6 °C (-118.48 °F)

Boiling point: 77.06 °C (170.7 °F)

Density: 0.9003 g/cm³ (0.0325 lb/in³)

Heat of combustion: -2,238.1 kJ/mol


Ethyl acetate is a colorless liquid with a pleasant smell. It dissolves well in alcohol, chloroform and other organic solvents but dissolves less well in water. It is an excellent solvent itself.

If inhaled in high concentrations it causes stupor. As it is exposed to light it breaks down into alcohol and acetic acid in air. It is a short-chain ester.

Occurrence and production

Ethyl acetate is prepared in industry using the Tishchenko reaction, from acetaldehyde, or in a reaction of ethanol and acetic acid, using concentrated sulphuric acid as a catalyst and a dehydrating agent.


Ethyl acetate is used as a solvent in industrial quantities and in the production of varnishes, films, explosives, artificial leather, cellophane and ethyl acetoacetate.

Related items

Acetic acid (ethanoic acid) (CH₃COOH)

One of the products of the oxidation of ethanol.

Ethanol (ethyl alcohol) (C₂H₅OH)

The best known alcohol, important in the food industry.

Formic acid (methanoic acid) (HCOOH)

Formic acid is the simplest carboxylic acid.

Acetaldehyde (ethanal) (CH₃CHO)

An aldehyde which is an important raw material and intermediate product in industry.

Acetone (C₃H₆O)

The simplest representative of ketones.

Ethane (C₂H₆)

The second member in the homologous series of straight-chain alkanes.

Molecule exercise V (Oxo compounds)

An exercise about the groups and structure of oxo compounds.

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