Ethyl acetate (systematically ethyl ethanoate, commonly abbreviated EtOAc or EA) is the organic compound with the formula CH3COOCH2CH3. This colorless liquid has a characteristic sweet smell (similar to pear drops) and is used in glues, nail polish removers, It is not toxic. Ethyl acetate is the ester of ethanol and acetic acid;it is manufactured on a large scale in the industry for use as a solvent. In 1985, a total of 400,000 tons of ethyl acetate were produced in Japan, North America and Europe. By 2004, this number reached approximately 1.3 million tons worldwide. Ethyl acetate is mainly synthesized in the chemical industry via the well-known Fischer esterification reaction of ethyl alcohol and acetic acid. This mixture converts to ester at approximately 65% yield at room temperature:
CHCH3HCO2H + CH3CH2OH → CHCH3HCO2CH2CH3 + H2O
The reaction can be accelerated by acid catalysis and the equilibrium can be shifted to the right by removal of water.
Ethyl acetate It is also prepared in industry using the Tishchenko reaction, by combining two equivalents of acetaldehyde in the presence of an alkoxide catalyst:
2 CH3CHO → CHCH3HCO2CH2CH3
Silicotungstic acid is used to manufacture ethyl acetate by the alkylation of acetic acid by ethylene:
C2H4 + CHCH3HCO2H → CHCH3HCO2C2H5
Ethyl acetate is found in alcoholic beverages, cereals, radish, fruit juices, beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages. It is naturally obtained from Anthemis nobilis (Roman chamomile) and Rubus species.
Ethyl acetate is used as a flavorant in artificial fruit extracts. Its modified extract is used as a solvent in the production of decaffeinated tea or coffee. Coffee beans and tea leaves are decaffeinated with this solvent.
It is also used in the pigments and inks that are used to label fruits and vegetables. In insect science, ethyl acetate is an effective asphyxidant for use in insect collection and research. In a killing bowl filled with ethyl acetate, it quickly kills most of the adult insects. Because of its lack of hygroscopic properties, ethyl acetate also keeps insects soft enough to maintain that they can be collected into a collection.