Ethyl acetate is the acetate ester formed between acetic acid and ethanol. It has a role as a polar aprotic solvent, an EC 18.104.22.168 (pyroglutamyl-peptidase I) inhibitor, a metabolite and a Saccharomyces cerevisiae metabolite. It is an acetate ester, an ethyl ester and a volatile organic compound.
This colorless liquid has a characteristic sweet smell (similar to pear drops) and is used in glues, nail polish removers, and in the decaffeination process of tea and coffee. Ethyl acetate is the ester of ethanol and acetic acid; it is manufactured on a large
scale for use as a solvent.
Ethyl acetate has many uses in the industrial and commercial industries as both a solvent and a diluent.
Ethyl acetate is used in various industrial applications such as in paints as a hardener, adhesives, paint and coating additives, degreasing solvents, active agents, processing aids and plasticisers. At a lower purity, it can be used in printing and pharmaceuticals. It is also used in coating formulations for wood furniture, agricultural, construction equipment, mining equipment and marine uses.
Laboratory uses include in mixtures used in column chromatography and extractions.
The most common use of ethyl acetate is as an ester in wine as it is naturally produced during the fermentation process. It contributes to wine’s fruity flavours. It also contributes to the decaffeination of coffee beans and tea leaves.
Commercial products containing this solvent include automotive products, cleaning and furnishing care products, paints, coatings, inks and plastics. It is also used in air care products and perfumes, as it evaporates quickly leaving only the scent to remain.
As a high purity solvent, it is used in cleaning electric circuit boards and as a nail polish remover. At a lower purity, it can be used as in perfumes, food, decaffeination of tea/coffee and a carrier solvent for herbicides.
Highly Flammable liquid and vapor [Danger Flammable liquids]
In the field of entomology, ethyl acetate is an effective asphyxiant for use in insect collecting and study. In a killing jar charged with ethyl acetate, the vapors will kill the collected insect quickly without destroying it. Because it is not hygroscopic, ethyl acetate also keeps the insect soft enough to allow proper mounting suitable for a collection.
Overexposure to ethyl acetate may cause irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat. Severe overexposure may cause weakness, drowsiness, and unconsciousness. Humans exposed to a concentration of 400 ppm in 1.4 mg/L ethyl acetate for a short time were affected by nose and throat irritation