Methyl acetate - C3H6O2

What is Methyl acetate?

C3H6O2 is a carboxylate ester with a chemical name Methyl acetate. It is also called Methyl ethanoate or Methylacetat or Methyl ester of acetic acid. It is an acetate ester which results from the condensation of acetic acid and methanol.

Methyl ethanoate is a clear liquid which has no colour and has a fragrant fruity odour. It is moderately toxic and vapours are heavier than air. It is commonly found in apple and various other fruits such as bananas, grapes, etc. As it is an ester it can be synthesized in an esterification reaction by reacting acetic acid with methanol in the presence of sulfuric acid.

Properties of Methyl acetate – C3H6O2


Methyl acetate

Molecular weight of C3H6O2

74.079 g/mol

Density of Methyl acetate

0.932 g/cm3

Melting point of Methyl acetate

−98 °C

Boiling point of Methyl acetate


Methyl acetate structure – C3H6O2

C3H6O2 Uses (Methyl acetate)

  • Methyl acetate is used as a food additive to enhance the flavour of food.
  • Used in the manufacturing of artificial leather.
  • Used for the biodegradation of organic materials.
  • Used as a flavoring agent brandy, rum, and whiskey.
  • Used as a plasticizer.
  • Used to manufacture Lubricants.
  • Used in paint removers.

Production of Methyl acetate

Industrially it is obtained by the carbonylation of methanol as a byproduct of the synthesis of acetic acid. It can also be produced by esterification of acetic acid with methanol along with sulfuric acid (strong acid).

Health hazards

Inhaling Methylacetat can cause headache, drowsiness, and fatigue. Consuming it in high concentrations can result in CNS depression. Swallowing causes dizziness, drowsiness, headache, and fatigue. It can also damage the eyes.

This compound is highly flammable and liberates irritating and toxic gases or fumes when heated..