Ethyl acetate is used primarily as a solvent and diluent, being favoured because of its low cost, low toxicity, and agreeable odour. This colourless liquid has 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 the ester of ethanol and acetic acid; it is manufactured on a large scale for use as a solvent. For example, it is commonly used to clean circuit boards and in some nail varnish removers (acetone is 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 the scent of the perfume on the skin.


Ethyl acetate is an asphyxiant for use in insect collecting and study. In a killing jar charged with ethyl acetate, the vapours will kill the collected insect quickly without destroying it. Because it is not hygroscopic, ethyl acetate also keeps the insect soft enough to allow proper mounting suitable for a collection.


Uses of Ethyl Acetate


  • It is a very useful organic compound. The production of ethyl acetate in Large-scale itself shows its importance in the industry. Let’s take a look at some important uses of ethyl acetate,


  • Solvent: Ethyl acetate is primarily used as a solvent and diluent in chemical laboratories for column and thin-layer chromatography to purify chemical compounds.
  • It is also used as a solvent in making paints, lacquers, varnishes, cleaning liquids, artificial leather, smokeless powder, photographic films, artificial silk, etc.
  • Ethyl acetate has a wide range of uses in nail polish, nail polish remover, and perfumes in the Cosmetic Industry.
  • As a flavouring agent: Ethyl acetate is used as a flavouring agent in the food industry. It has a sweet and fruity smell which brings fruity flavours to candy, bakery products, etc,
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