Ethyl Acetate (C4H8O2)
Ethyl acetate (CH3COOCH2CH3, CAS 141-78-6) is a colorless and highly flammable liquid with a sweet, pear-like odor. Prone to hydrolysis and transesterification, ethyl acetate is not a preferred medium for chemical reactions. In the laboratory, ethyl acetate is commonly used as a solvent for chromatography, liquid-liquid extractions, and emulsion PCR.
Commercially, ethyl acetate is used to make adhesives and sealants, in coating formulations (epoxies, urethanes, cellulosics, acrylics, and vinyls), to decaffeinate coffee beans and tea leaves, and to create artificial fruit essences in foods, beverages, cosmetics, and cigarettes. It is used extensively in the food/beverage and perfume industries, and is the most common ester found in wine and other alcoholic beverages.
Ethyl acetate is highly flammable in both liquid and vapor forms, and is easily ignited by heat, sparks, or flames. Use proper personal protective equipment (PPE) when handling this category 5 acute toxin, which is hazardous when inhaled, ingested, or absorbed through the skin or eyes.