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From Wikipedia


Acetate is a derivative of acetic acid. Two types of derivatives are known, salts and ester. Most of the approximately 5 billion kilograms of acetic acid produced annually in industry are acetates, which usually take the form of polymers. In nature, acetate is the most common building block for biosynthesis. For example, the fatty acids are produced by connecting C2 units derived from acetate.

Nomenclature and presentation of formula

When part of a salt, the formula of the acetate anion is written as CH3CO2−, C2H3O2−, and CH3COO−. Chemists abbreviate acetate as OAc− and AcO−. Thus, HOAc is the abbreviation for acetic acid, NaOAc for sodium acetate, and EtOAc for ethyl acetate.

The name for acetate, sanctioned by IUPAC, the international committee charged with naming chemical compounds, is ethanoate. This term is rarely encountered.


The acetate anion, [CH3COO]−, is one of the carboxylate family. It is the conjugate base of acetic acid. Above pH of 5.5, acetic acid converts to acetate:


Many acetate salts are ionic, indicated by their tendency to dissolve well in water. A commonly encountered acetate in the home is sodium acetate, a white solid that can be prepared by combining vinegar and sodium bicarbonate ("bicarb"):

CH3COOH + NaHCO3→ CH3COO−Na+ + H2O + CO2

More specialized metal acetates can have complicated structures. Acetate is a relatively strong ligand in coordination chemistry. Examples of acetate complexes include chromium(II) acetate and basic zinc acetate.


Commercially important acetate salts are aluminium acetate, used in dyeing, ammonium acetate, a precursor to acetamide, and potassium acetate, used as a diuretic. All three salts are colourless and highly soluble in water.


Acetate esters have the general formula CH3CO2R, where R is an organyl group. The esters are the dominant forms of acetate in the marketplace. Unlike the acetate salts, acetate esters are often liquids, lipophilic, and sometimes volatile. They are popular because they have inoffensive, often sweet odors, they are inexpensive, and they are usually of low toxicity.


Almost half of acetic acid production is consumed in the production of vinyl acetate, precursor to polyvinyl alcohol, which is a component of many paints. The second largest use of acetic acid is consumed in the production of cellulose acetate. In fact, "acetate" is jargon for cellulose acetate, which is used in the production of fibres or diverse products, e.g. the acetate discs used in audio record production. Cellulose acetate can be found in many household products. Many industrial solvents are acetates, including methyl acetate, ethyl acetate, isopropyl acetate, ethylhexyl acetate. Butyl acetate is a fragrance used in food products.

Acetate in biology

Acetate is a common anion in biology. It is mainly utilized by organisms in the form of acetyl coenzyme A.

Intraperitoneal injection of sodium acetate (20 or 60 mg per kg body mass) was found to induce headache in sensitized rats, and it has been proposed that acetate resulting from oxidation of ethanol is a major factor in causing hangovers. Increased serum acetate levels lead to accumulation of adenosine in many tissues including the brain, and administration of the adenosine receptor antagonist caffeine to rats after ethanol was found to decrease nociceptive behavior.

From Yahoo Answers

Question:We did a lab and for part of it we added (in separate tubes) diethyl ether, ethyl acetate, dichloromethane, acetone, ethanol, and toluene to water. The only two that were miscible with water were ethanol and acetone. I understand the they can have hydrogen bonding with water, and the most of the substances cannot, and thus cannot mix. It seems to me, however, that ethyl acetate should be able to form hydrogen bonds with water and mix, and i can't figure out for the life of me why it doesn't mix. Please help me out as soon as you can!

Answers:The dipole moment of ethyl acetate is relatively weak because ethyl acetate has resonance structures. This dislocalizes the charges and spreads them around. Some ethyl acetate will dissolve into water, but it's only like 3-8%.


Answers:methanol has OH group so H bond attraction to water aids solubility. ... it is polar. acetone has structure CH3-CO-CH3 and the C+O group creates a dipole on the molecule enabling it to be miscible with water. So it is also polar. The ester ethyl acetate, CH3.COOC2H5 does not have enough polarity to dissolve, and is considered non-polar.

Question:the equation is acetic acid + ethyl alcohol=ethyl acetate + water.... but it also includes hydrochloric acid and solid calcium chloride.. i was wondering if i have to enclude HCl as a reagent, i am trying to calculate the limiting reactant for the lab..is it considered as a reagent or no? ..thanx

Answers:no, do not include HCl in the computations it is just a catalyst in your case use only those in the completet balanced chem eq: CH3COOH + CH3CH2OH --> CH3COOCH2CH3 +H2O

Question:I am looking for an answer in g/L. List sources.

Answers:infinitly soluble in water

From Youtube

Liquid-Liquid Miscibility Gap Demonstration: Acetic Acid + Water + Ethyl Acetate :We start with a 25/75 (by weight) mixture of acetic acid/water. It is totally miscible. Note that the blue is food coloring added for contrast. We slowly add in ethyl acetate (clear liquid) which will force the mixture to phase separate into two liquid phases. Note that the miscibility gap does not appear until enough ethyl acetate is added. About 15 % (by weight) of ethyl acetate was where the phase split occurs.