02 Mar 2015

Ethyl Acetate

Ethyl acetate (systematically, ethyl ethanoate, commonly abbreviated EtOAc or EA) is the organic compound with the formula CH3-COO-CH2-CH3. This colorless liquid has a characteristic sweet smell (similar to pear drops) and is used in glues, nail polish removers, decaffeinating tea and coffee, and cigarettes (see list of additives in cigarettes). Ethyl acetate is the ester of ethanol and acetic acid; it is manufactured on a large scale for use as a solvent.


Test Description Specification Limits Unit Of Measure Test Method
Max. Min.
Appearance Clear Visual
Purity 99.8 % wt GC
Colour 10 Hazen ASTM D1209
Water Content 0.05 % wt ASTM D1364
Acidity as Acetic Acid 0.005 % wt ASTM D1613
Alcohol Content 0.07 % wt ASTM D3545
Distillation Range 76.5 78 °C ASTM D1078
Density @ 20°C 0.899 0.903 g/ml ASTM D4052


  • Ethyl acetate is primarily used as a solvent and diluents many chemical processes, being favored because of its low cost, low toxicity, and agreeable odor.
  • It is commonly used to clean circuit boards and in some nail varnish removers (acetone and acetonitrile are also used). Coffee beans and tea leaves are decaffeinated with this solvent.
  • It is also used in paints as an activator or hardener.
  • Ethyl acetate is present in confectionery, perfumes, and fruits. In perfumes, it evaporates quickly, leaving but the scent of the perfume on the skin.
  • Ethyl acetate is used as a solvent in oil‐based lacquers and enamels (especialy in polyurethane finishes) and in inks and adhesives.

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