Ethyl acetate is one of the most demanded reagents. It is a colorless volatile liquid with an unusual pungent odor that resembles a fruity aroma. It dissolves well in benzene, ethyl ether, methylcarbinol and other organic solvents, but slightly soluble in water. The substance itself serves as a solvent, which explains its popularity in modern industry.
Ethyl acetate features
As noted, ethyl acetate is a good solvent. A third of the total volume produced on an industrial scale is used precisely as a solvent. Ethyl acetate differs from other substances in this category by its low toxicity and low price. Another advantage is the smell, which is tolerable in comparison with the smell of similar substances. Ethyl acetate is used to dissolve:
- acetyl and nitrocellulose;
- enamels, varnishes and paints.
- The substance is actively used in the cleaning of printed circuit boards and the production of paints and varnishes, inks and adhesives for printing equipment. In combination with alcohol, ethyl acetate is used as a solvent for the production of artificial leather.
- The dissolving properties are also used in the packaging field, and more specifically in the application of inscriptions and drawings on packaging.
- The substance is also used for the manufacture of entomological wood stains. Chloroform is also used for these purposes, but ethyl acetate simplifies the preparation of the object.
- Due to its low toxicity, it can be used in the food industry. For example, ethyl acetate is required for the extraction of caffeine and is added to beverages and confectionery as part of fruit essences.
- In pharmaceuticals, it serves as a reaction medium for the release of certain drugs. In laboratory practice, it is used for chromatography and extraction of organic substances from aqueous solutions.
- In the production of thin sheets of aluminum and foil, ethyl acetate is used as a degreaser.
- In the manufacture of explosives, the reagent is used as a gelatinizer.
- One of the most popular uses is the manufacture of manicure products, in particular nail polish removers.
- In photography and filmmaking, ethyl acetate is used to make films
Ethyl acetate has received such widespread use due to the following qualities:
- low toxicity;
- highly effective as a solvent and degreaser.
When working, it is necessary to remember about the potential explosiveness of the substance when combined with air. It is also recommended to wear PPE to protect the mucous membranes of the eyes and respiratory system.