Chemistry Formulas

Ethyl Acetate Formula

Ethyl acetate formula (ethyl ethanoate) is the organic compound with the formula \(C_{4}H_{8}O_{2}\). This colorless liquid has a characteristic sweet smell. Ethyl acetate is the ester of ethanol and acetic acid. Ethyl acetate was first synthesized from ethanol and acetic acid in 1895. In 1985 the total combined production of Japan, North America, and Europe were about 400,000 tonnes. Ethyl acetate is widely in use as a solvent, especially for paints, varnishes, lacquers, cleaning mixtures, and perfumes. We will further discuss the Ethyl acetate formula and its applications below.

Ethyl Acetate Formula


Ethyl Acetate Formula

 What is Ethyl Acetate?

Ethyl Acetate is a colorless liquid with 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 produced or synthesized for industrial use is mainly via the classic Fischer esterification reaction of ethanol and acetic acid.

The density is 0.902 g/cm3. It has a boiling point of 77.1 °C (170.8 °F; 350.2 K) and melting point at −83.6 °C (−118.5 °F; 189.6 K). Its solubility in water is 8.3 g/100 mL (at 20 °C) almost insoluble. Ethyl acetate is a polar compound.

It is a highly flammable liquid, as well as toxic when ingestion or inhaled. This chemical can also seriously damage internal organs in the case of repeated or prolonged exposure. This chemical also causes irritation when it comes into contact with the eyes or skin.

Chemical Formula of Ethyl Acetate:

The chemical formula for Ethyl acetate is:


simplified to \(C_{4}H_{8}O_{2}\).

It has a molar mass of 30.070 g·mol−1. The abbreviation of Ethyl acetate is EtOAc. Ethyl acetate is actually an ester which derives from the replacement of the hydroxyl group by an ethoxy group in the acetic acid.

It is not widely present in nature. In wine and other drinks are added a small quantity of acetic acid which reacts with ethanol to form ethyl acetate, which is responsible for the taste of some old wines.

Ethyl acetate is insoluble in water, but it is soluble in most of the organic solvents such as benzene, acetone, chloroform, and toluene. The common method for its manufacturing is the reaction between ethanol, acetic acid, and sulfuric acid, at 60-70 ºC to promote the esterification of carboxylic acid to ester.

\(CH_{3}COOH+CH_{3}CH_{2}OH \rightarrow CH_{3}COOC_{2}H_{5}+H_{2}O\)

A specialized industrial process which necessitates the catalytic dehydrogenation of ethanol. This process of ethyl acetate is more cost-effective compared to the esterification method but is applied with surplus ethanol in a chemical plant.


Ethyl acetate mainly acts as a solvent and diluent in the industry. It is preferable because of its low cost, low toxicity, and agreeable odor. This solvent also helps in the decaffeination of Coffee beans and tea leaves. Ethyl acetate has a major application in paints as an activator or hardener.

This solvent is also present in confectionery, perfumes, and fruits. Mixtures containing ethyl acetate are commonly used in column chromatography and extractions in the laboratory.

Solved Examples

Q.1. Calculate the molar weight of Ethyl Acetate.

Ans- Formula of Ethyl acetate is \(C_{4}H_{8}O_{2}\). So, the Ethyl Acetate molecule consists of 8 Hydrogen atom(s), 4 Carbon atom(s) and 2 Oxygen atom(s) – a total of 14 atom(s). The molecular weight of this solvent is determined by the sum of the atomic weights of each constituent element multiplied by the number of atoms.

Here Relative Atomic Mass of each element are:




So, C= \(12 \times 4=48\),

H= \(1 \times 8=8\),

O= \(16 \times 2\)=32

Hence, the molecular weight is 48+8+32= 88g/mol.

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