Butyl acetate

From Sciencemadness Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Butyl acetate, also known as butyl ethanoate or n-butyl acetate, is an organic compound, an ester between acetic acid and butanol commonly used as a solvent.

It has 3 other isomers: isobutyl acetate, sec-butyl acetate and tert-butyl acetate. IUPAC nomenclature specifies that the butyl acetate name must only be used for the n isomer.



Butyl acetate will hydrolyze under alkali conditions to give butanol and acetic acid or an acetate salt.


Butyl acetate is a colorless flammable liquid, with a fruity smell. It is poorly soluble in water (0.68 g/100 ml at 20 °C), but miscible in ethanol and soluble in chloroform and acetone. It boils at 126.1 °C and freezes at −78 °C.


Butyl acetate can be purchased from many chemical suppliers, such as ScienceStuff.

Butyl acetate is also found in most paint thinners, usually mixed with toluene or acetone. It can be extracted via fractional distillation.

Some paint strippers use butyl acetate.

Butyl acetate is omnipresent in most OTC solvents/paint thinners, and its presence may affect various chemical reactions done in said solvents.


Butyl acetate is synthesized via the Fischer esterification of n-butanol and glacial acetic acid, with the presence of catalytic sulfuric acid under reflux.


  • Make synthetic fruit flavors
  • Organic solvent



Butyl acetate has moderate toxicity.


In closed bottles, away from any heat source.


Butyl acetate can be safely burned in open air.


Relevant Sciencemadness threads