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Ethyl Acetate Formula – Structure, Properties, Uses, Sample Questions

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  • Last Updated : 24 Jun, 2022

An organic compound that is an ester of ethanol and acetic acid Is defined as Ethyl acetate. Ethyl acetate is widely used as a solvent in chemical reactions or preparations. That’s why it is manufactured on a large scale. Ethyl acetate is also known as ethyl ethanoate. It is also abbreviated as EtOAc.  It is one organic compound and is mainly used as a solvent in different reactions. It is formed from the direct esterification of ethyl alcohol with acetic acid. It is the process of mixing acetic acid with an excess of ethyl alcohol and adding a small amount of sulphuric acid. It is also abbreviated as EtOAc.

At the time of the Esterification reaction ester group is formed by the replacement of the hydroxy group by the ethoxy group in a carboxylic acid. It also contains a carbonyl group where this carbon of carbonyl group has sp2 hybridization and has trigonal planar geometry.

Structure and Formula for Ethyl Acetate

The formula of Ethyl Acetate can be easily memorized because as the name suggests it contains ethyl group (CH2-CH3 or C2H5) and acetate group (CH3COO).

  • The extended formula for ethyl acetate is CH3COOCH2CH3
  • Chemical Formula of Ethyl Acetate C4H8O2
  • Extended Formula for Ethyl Acetate CH3COOCH2CH3

Ethyl acetate

Physical properties of Ethyl acetate

Chemical FormulaCH3COOC2H5
Condensed FormulaC4H8O2
IUPAC nameEthyl ethanoate
Molar Mass or Molecular weight88.106gmol–1
OdorFruity smell
Density0.902gcm–3
Boiling Point77.1°C
VolatilityHighly volatile liquid
FlammabilityHighly flammable
Freezing point-83.6°C
Physical state1 atm
Heat of combustion-10,110
Heat of decompositionNot pertinent

Chemical Properties of Ethyl Acetate

  • Hydrolysis: Ethyl acetate gives ethanol and acetic acid on reaction with water. 
  • Condensation: -Ethyl acetate shows Claisen condensation reaction and produces ethyl acetoacetate.

2CH3CO2C2H5 (ethyl Acetate) + NaOCH2CH3/H3O+ ⇢ C6H10O3 (Ethyl acetoacetate) +C2H5OH (ethanol)

  • Reaction with Sodium Hydroxide: When ethyl acetate or ethyl ethanoate reacts with sodium hydroxide then it gives sodium acetate and ethanol. 

CH3CO2C2H5 + NaOH —–> C2H5OH + CH3CO2Na

It is highly flammable and generally found in alcoholic drinks like wines and also used as an organic solvent in paints, cellulose, rubber, etc.

Uses of Ethyl Acetate

It is a very useful organic compound. The production of ethyl acetate in Large-scale itself shows its importance in the industry. Let’s take a look at some important uses of ethyl acetate,

  1. Solvent: Ethyl acetate is primarily used as a solvent and diluent in chemical laboratories for column and thin-layer chromatography to purify chemical compounds.
  2. It is also used as a solvent in making paints, lacquers, varnishes, cleaning liquids, artificial leather, smokeless powder, photographic films, artificial silk, etc.
  3. Ethyl acetate has a wide range of uses in nail polish, nail polish remover, perfumes in the Cosmetic Industry.
  4. As a flavoring agent: Ethyl acetate is used as a flavoring agent in the food industry. It has a sweet and fruity smell which brings fruity flavors to candy, bakery products, etc,
  5. Decaffeination Process: It is used in the decaffeination of coffee beans and tea leaves. Since It is a polar molecule, it proves to be a good solvent for capturing the polar caffeine molecules from the coffee beans as the caffeine molecules bind to the ethyl acetate molecules and caffeine has removed from coffee beans.
  6. Ethyl acetate is widely used as an extraction solvent in the Pharmaceutical industry.
  7. Ethyl acetate is used as a solvent in printing inks and its primary function is to dissolve the resin and also control the viscosity and modify the drying rate.
  8. Ethyl acetate is used in wine production due to its sweet smell.
  9. Ethyl acetate is used as an indirect food additive in certain packaging materials.
  10. Ethyl acetate is used as a cleaning agent in the textile industry.
  11. Ethyl acetate is used as a good solvent for nitrocellulose, fats, varnishes, lacquers inks, and airplane dopes, and it is also used in the production of smokeless powder, artificial leather, photographic films and plates, and artificial silk.

Conceptual questions

Question 1: What are the chemical formula and condensed formula of Ethyl acetate?

Answer: 

  • The Chemical Formula of Ethyl acetate is CH3COOC2H5
  • The Condensed Formula of Ethyl acetate is C4H8O2

Question 2: What are the health hazards effects due to Ethyl acetate?

Answer: 

Many adverse effects are observed in humans due to overexposure to ethyl acetate,

  1. It can cause breathing problems because of the Inhalation of ethyl acetate to a toxic level.
  2. If ethyl acetate is taken in large amountsthen it can lead to a rapid release of acetic acid, which may cause acidosis and hepatocellular damage and prove to be life-threatening.
  3. It may cause irritation in the skin, eyes, throat, and nose due to Overexposure to ethyl acetate.
  4. In regular contact with ethyl acetate may cause the skin very dry as well as leading to cracking of the skin.

Question 3: Which food is Ethyl acetate in nature?

Answer: 

It is found in many fruits naturally such as in pineapples, and sweet oranges, and found in a very lower concentration in safflowers. It has also been not quantified in any particular amount or percentage present in several different foods, such as oxheart cabbages, agaves, chervils, peaches, cereal crops, radishes, fruit juices, beer, wine, spirits, etc.

Question 4: What is the use of ethyl acetate?

Answer: 

Ethyl acetate is widely used as a solvent in paints, varnishes, perfumery, etc. Ethyl acetate is primarily used as a solvent and diluent in chemical laboratories for column and thin-layer chromatography to purify chemical compounds.  It is also used as a solvent in making paints, lacquers, varnishes, cleaning liquids, artificial leather, smokeless powder, photographic films, artificial silk, etc.  Ethyl acetate has a wide range of uses in nail polish, nail polish remover, perfumes in the Cosmetic Industry.

Question 5: What is the boiling and freezing point of Ethyl acetate?

Answer: 

  1. The boiling point of Ethyl acetate is 77.1°C
  2. The freezing point of ethyl acetate is -83.6 °C

Question 6: Is it safe to use Ethyl acetate in common?

Answer: 

It is not safe to use Ethyl acetate in common as it s highly flammable in nature and this chemical component can seriously damaged internal organs if there is repeated or prolonged exposure to it .If ethyl acetate is taken in large amounts then it can lead to a rapid release of acetic acid, which may cause acidosis and hepatocellular damage and prove to be life-threatening.

Question 7: What is the IUPAC name of Ethyl acetate? What is hydrolysis?

Answer: 

Ethyl acetate IUPAC name  is ethyl ethanoate, where “Ethyl part” comes from ethanol and “Ethanoate part” comes from ethanoic acid. 

It is a chemical breakdown that involves breaking a bond and adding elements of water. HCl was present at the time of hydrolysis, in this ester (ethyl acetate), hydrolysis with an alkali (sodium hydroxide). It is used to speed it up as a catalyst.

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