6432Re: Ethyl-Acetate (wrongly demonized ?)
- Oct 1, 2002Further to this. A little internet research has shown that nail
polish remover can be based on two seperate solvents. Acetone is the
first solvent. Acetone being a highly effective industrial solvent.
Ethyl acetate or similar ester is the second solvent. Nail polish
removers based around ethyl acetate are advertised as being "Acetone
Free" or "Without Acetone Odor".
The MSDS's for Acetone describe it's odor as "fragrant, sweet and
minty". The MSDS's for Ethyl Acetate describe it's odor as
"fragrant, sweet and fruity". In the end, I don't bloody know...
Just going to have to make some. How do you concentrate acetic acid?
--- In Distillers@y..., Mike Gasmier <god@p...> wrote:
> Here's a little experiment from my old high school chemistry
textbook, Elements of Chemistry - Earth, Air, Fire and Water, Vol. 1.
> Experiment 1.14.10
> In this experiment, you can make some esters with familiar odours.
> (a) ethyl acetate
> - Use a dropper pipette to put about 2mL of glacial acetic acid,
CH3COOH, into a test tube.
> - Use a clean dropper pipette to add an equal volume of ethanol,
> - Use another dropper pipette to CAREFULLY add about 1mL of
concentrated sulfuric acid.
> - Stir the mixture slightly and then place the test tube in a
boiling water bath on a hot plate.
> - After about five minutes, pour the contents of teh test tube into
a beaker containing about 10mL of water. Unreacted acetic acid and
alcohol dissolve in the water, leaving the insoluble ester produced
floating on the surface.
> - Describe the odour of the ethyl acetate.
> Well, pure acetic acid is hard to find. Vinegar is only about 15%,
but I wonder. Sulfuric acid can be obtained from a car battery. I
already have some nice and strong alcohol. I'll just have to give
this a go...
> Also taken from the same book:
> Ethyl Acetate is an ester. Esters are formed by reaction between
an alcohol and a carboxylic acid in the presence of concentrated
sulfuric acid. Many esters occur naturally. They have pleasing
fragrances and are responsible for the flavours and fragrances of
many fruits and flowers.
> Fats and oils are also esters. Esters are volatile liquids, not
ionized, and are soluble in organic solvents but not in water.
> Acetone on the other hand is a Ketone, it's systematic name is
actually propanone. Acetone is commonly used as a solvent for
plastics, varnishes and greases. Having worked with acetone in many
industrial situations, I can assure you that the acrid part of the
nail-polish smell commonly described is that of acetone. The same
smell can be smelt in many epoxy glues, slicone glues, and even in
> As for fingernail polish remover, I don't know. I'll get hold of
some and see if it dissolves in water. If it does, then it is not
mainly ethyl-acetate. I can't see that smearing an oil onto your
fingers will dissolve anything though.
> Mike G
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