Butyl acetate

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Chemical structure

Butyl acetate.jpg

A colorless, sweet-smelling liquid. Butyl acetate has been used as a solvent for Cellulose nitrate products such as Celluloid, Pyroxylin lacquers, and airplane wing Dope. It is also used in the manufacture of photographic film, artificial leather, and Safety glass. Because butyl acetate is not Hygroscopic and evaporates slowly, it produces smooth shiny, transparent films.

Synonyms and Related Terms

n-butyl acetate; acetic acid butyl ester


  • Narcotic in high concentrations.
  • Skin contact may cause irritation.
  • Flammable.
  • ThermoFisher: SDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

Miscible with ethanol, ether and most hydrocarbon solvents.

Composition CH3COOCH2CH2CH2CH3
CAS 123-86-4
Melting Point -75 C
Density 0.8826 g/ml
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 116.2
Refractive Index 1.2951
Boiling Point 125-126 C

Resources and Citations

  • R. J. Gettens, G.L. Stout, Painting Materials, A Short Encyclopaedia, Dover Publications, New York, 1966
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Michael McCann, Artist Beware, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York City, 1979
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 1597