Ethyl Acetate

What is Ethyl Acetate?

Ethyl acetate is a carboxylate ester with the chemical formula CH3COOC2H5. It is a colorless liquid that has a sweet, fruity odor that most people find pleasant.

Ethyl acetate is a polar aprotic solvent. It has two dipole moments, generated by its two high electronegative oxygen atoms, which are on the carbonyl and ethyl groups.

Sigma Aldrich Ethyl Acetate Lewis Structure


Ethyl acetate results from the reaction between ethanol and acetic acid. It is most widely commercially synthesized via the Fischer esterification reaction. An alternative method is via the Tishchenko reaction.

Ethyl acetate is a standard solvent. Used especially for paints, varnishes, lacquers, cleaning, and perfumes. In the lab, ethyl acetate is a universal solvent for column and thin-layer chromatography.

Ethyl acetate is present in alcoholic drinks, cereal crops, radishes, fruit juices, beer, wine, and spirits.  

Whether you need HPLC ethyl acetate, ACS ethyl acetate, anhydrous ethyl acetate or one of the other grades available, we offer the right product for your application. 


Ethyl Acetate Formulas and Structures

Ethyl acetate, also know as ethyl ethanoate, or acetic acid ethyl ester, consists of four carbon atoms, eight hydrogen atoms, and two oxygen atom.

Type Formula or Structure
Ethyl Acetate Molecular Formulas C4H8O2 or CH3COOC2H5 
Ethyl Acetate Ball and Sticks Structural Model Sigma Aldrich Ethyl Acetate  Ball-Stick Structure
Ethyl Acetate Sticks Structural Model Sigma Aldrich Ethyl Acetate Stick Structure
Ethyl Acetate Skeletal Structural Model Sigma Aldrich Ethyl Acetate Wire-Frame Structure
Ethyl Acetate Space-Filling Structural Model Sigma Aldrich Ethyl Acetate Space-Filling Structure

Ethyl Acetate Identification

Chart listing the various names, identifiers and synonyms of ethyl acetate.

ID Type Identification
Synonym Ethyl ethanoate, acetic acid ethyl ester
Molecular Formula CH3COOC2H5
CAS Number 141-78-6
Beilstein Registry
EG/EC Number 2055004
MDL Number MFCD00009171
RIDADR UN 1173 3/PG 2


Ethyl Acetate Physical and Chemical Properties

Chart including the physical and chemical properties of ethyl acetate.

Property Value
Molecular Weight 88.11
Density 0.902 g/mL at 25ºC
Boiling Point 76.5-77.5ºC
Melting Point -84ºC
Flash Point -3.3ºC
Viscosity (cP)
0.423 at 25ºC
Dielectric Constant 6.08 at 20ºC
Dipole Moment 1.780
UV cutoff 255 nm
Refractive Index 1.372 at 20ºC
Vapor Pressure 73 mmHg (20°C)
Vapor Density 3 (vs. air)
Water Solubility 8.0x10+4 mg/L at 25oC
Heat of Combustion 2238.1 kJ/mol
Heat of Vaporization 35.60 kJ/mol at 25 oC
Surface Tension 24 Dynes/cm at 20 oC

Ethyl Acetate Miscibility and Immiscibility

Property Chemical
Miscible Acetic Acid, Acetone, Acetonitrile, Benzene, Butanol, Methyl ethyl ketone (MEK), Butyl Acetate (n-), Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE), Carbon Tetrachloride, Chloroform, Cyclohexane, Dichloroethane (1,2-), Dichloromethane, Diethyl ether, Diisopropyl ether, Dimethylformamide, Dimethyl Sulfoxide (DMSO), Dioxane, Ethanol, Ethyl Acetate, Heptane, Hexane, Methanol, Pentane, 1-Propanol, Isopropanol, Tetrahydrofuran (THF), Toluene, Trichloroethylene, Isooctane,  Xylene
Immiscible Water
Miscibility Information and Solvent Miscibility Table

Ethyl Acetate Hazard Statements


Hazard Statements H225-H319-H336
Signal Word Danger
P210-P261-P305 + P351 + P338

GHS Information


GHS Pictogram Statement
Flammable gases, category 1
Flammable aerosols, categories 1,2
Flammable liquids, categories 1,2,3
Flammable solids, categories 1,2
Self-reactive substances and mixtures, Types B,C,D,E,F
Pyrophoric liquids, category 1
Pyrophoric solids, category 1
Self-heating substances and mixtures, categories 1,2
Substances and mixtures, which in contact with water,
emit flammable gases, categories 1,2,3
Organic peroxides, Types B,C,D,E,F
Acute toxicity (oral, dermal, inhalation), category 4
Skin irritation, category 2
Eye irritation, category 2
Skin sensitisation, category 1
Specific Target Organ Toxicity – Single exposure, category 3

Ethyl Acetate SDS Information

An SDS (Safety Data Sheet) is available for each ethyl acetate product. Start your search for an SDS.


Ethyl Acetate Uses

Some of the common uses of ethyl acetate are:

  • Pharmaceutic aid (flavor); 
  • Artificial fruit essences;
  • Extraction medium and chromatography reagent.
  • Organic solvent for nitrocellulose, varnishes, and lacquers;
  • Production of smokeless powder, artificial leather, photographic films and plates, artificial silk, and perfumes; 
  • Cleaning textiles

Why is Ethyl Acetate Used in Entomology?

Entomology is the study of insects and their relationship to organisms, and 

Ethyl acetate is an effective asphyxiant for use in insect collection and study.

Usually, etymologists charge a jar with this substance. Its vapors will kill the collected (usually adult) insect suddenly without destroying it. Because ethyl acetate is not hygroscopic the insect remains soft enough to allow mounting suitable for a collection.

What Foods Contain Ethyl Acetate?

Ethyl acetate is present in some fruits, particularly apples and pears, and some wines.

It is also used as an artificial flavor in

  • Candy 
  • Baked foods 
  • Gum 
  • Ice creams 
  • Cakes

Ethyl acetate is also used to decaffeinate cigarettes, coffee, and tea leaves.