Ethyl acetate, also known as acetic acid ethyl ester, ethyl ethanoate, or acetic ester, is a clear, flammable liquid with a characteristic, not unpleasant smell like certain glues or nail polish removers. It may be formed (along with acetic acid) in wine that has been exposed to air. In this case, its presence is considered a contaminant of the wine. Ethyl acetate is used as a solvent in glues and nail polish removers, in chemical reactions, and for extractions. Ethyl acetate is a non-polar (lipophilic) to weakly polar (hydrophilic) aprotic solvent. Ethyl acetate can dissolve up to 3% water and has a solubility of 8% in water at room temperature. At elevated temperature its miscibility with water is much higher. Ethyl acetate is not stable in the presence of strong aqueous bases and acids.
Ethyl acetate is an ester that is synthesized from acetic acid and ethanol in the presence of strong acids like sulfuric acid in an esterification reaction. In the presence of strong bases like sodium hydroxide or strong acids like hydrochloric acid or sulfuric acid and is hydrolyzed back into ethanol and acetic acid, especially at elevated temperature.
Last updated: 07-30-2005 01:29:07