Methyl Acetate

Cas No: 79-20-9           
EINESC No: 201-185-2
Molecular weight: 74,08 g/mol  

Chemical Formula: C3H6O2
Chemical Structure:

Physical Properties

General Properties: colorless liquid

Odor: fruity

Intensity: 0.932 g/cm3

Boiling point: 118 °C

Melting point: -99 °C

Flash point: 56,9 °C

Vapor pressure: 173 mmHg

Refraction index: 1.361 nD

Solubility (aqueous) 25 g/ 100 mL

General Properties

Methyl acetate, or methyl ethanoate, is a carboxylic ester. It has a pleasant odor that is familiar to certain glues or acetones. Although it is used as lipophilic solvent sometimes, ethyl acetate is preferred as solvent for its low toxicity and its less-soluble in water.


Methyl acetate is produced by carbonylation of methanol. It is also formed by esterification of methanol and acetic acid in presence of strong acids such as sulphuric acid.

This production process of Eastman Kodak, which uses reactive distillation, is quite famous.


Methyl acetate is used as volatile solvent in industry. It is used cellulosid glue production. It works as viscosity reeducer in lack production. Certain parfumes and acetons contain methyl acetate

Safety Measures and Toxic Values

Methyl acetate does not cause serious health problems in lower concentrations. However, it is hazardous in higher concentrations. It may cause dryness or cracks on skin. If it is inhaled, it may cause nausea or vertigo.

Methyl  acetate is flammable and it must be mixed with oxidising agents with care. In high temperatures, it may form explosive mixtures in air. It must be stored in tightly closed containers.