Methyl acetate

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A colorless solvent with a fragrant odor. Methyl acetate is the methyl ester of acetic acid. It is used as a solvent for Cellulose nitrate and as a Paint remover. It is also used in the manufacture of artificial leather.

Synonyms and Related Terms

methyl ester of acetic acid

Chemical structure

Methyl acetate.jpg

Other Properties

Soluble in water. Miscible in ethanol and ether.

Hydrolyzes in water to acetic acid.

Composition CH3COOCH3
CAS 79-20-9
Melting Point -98
Density 0.9279
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 74
Refractive Index 1.3619
Boiling Point 56.9

Hazards and Safety

Overexposure can cause skin irritation. Ingestion may cause headaches, drowsiness and optical atrophy. May decompose in aqueous solutions to form acetic acid.

Flammable. Flash point = -9C (15F). Fire and explosion risk.

Mallinckrodt Baker: MSDS

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 6089; ref. index=1.3619
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998
  • CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, Robert Weast (ed.), CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, v. 61, 1980 Comment: ref. index=1.360