Ethyl acetate is also known as ethyl ethanoate and has molecular formula CH3COOCH2CH3. It exists as a colourless liquid at room temperature with a characteristic sweet smell. It is also soluble in water and volatile.
Ethyl acetate is manufactured by esterification reaction of ethanol and acetic acid through the following reaction which has a 65% yield:
CH3CH2OH + CH3COOH ↔ CH3COOCH2CH3 + H2O
The reaction can be accelerated by acid catalysis and removing water from the reaction.
Ethyl acetate can also be prepared by combining acetaldehyde in the presence of an alkoxide catalyst:
2 CH3CHO → CH3COOCH2CH3