Butyl acetate

n-Butyl acetate, also known as butyl ethanoate, is an ester that is a colorless, flammable liquid at room temperature. It is found in many types of fruit, where along with other chemicals, it imparts characteristic flavors and has a sweet smell of banana or apple. It is used as a synthetic fruit flavoring in foods such as candy, ice cream, cheeses, and baked goods. Butyl acetate is often used as a high-boiling solvent of moderate polarity.

n-Butyl acetate
Preferred IUPAC name
Butyl acetate
Systematic IUPAC name
Butyl ethanoate
Other names
n-Butyl acetate
Acetic acid n-butyl ester
3D model (JSmol)
Abbreviations BuAcO
ECHA InfoCard 100.004.236
EC Number
  • 204-658-1
RTECS number
  • AF7350000
UN number 1123
Molar mass 116.160 g·mol−1
Appearance Colorless liquid
Odor Fruity
Density 0.8825 g/cm3 (20 °C)[1]
Melting point −78 °C (−108 °F; 195 K) [1]
Boiling point 126.1 °C (259.0 °F; 399.2 K) at 760 mmHg[1]
0.68 g/100 mL (20 °C)[1]
Solubility Miscible in EtOH
Soluble in acetone, CHCl3[1]
log P 1.82[1]
Vapor pressure
  • 0.1 kPa (−19 °C)
  • 1.66 kPa (24 °C)[1]
  • 44.5 kPa (100 °C)[2]
0.281 L·atm/mol
−77.47·10−6 cm3/mol
Thermal conductivity
  • 0.143 W/m·K (0 °C)
  • 0.136 W/m·K (25 °C)
  • 0.130 W/m·K (50 °C)
  • 0.116 W/m·K (100 °C)[1]
1.3941 (20 °C)[1]
  • 1.002 cP (0 °C)
  • 0.685 cP (25 °C)
  • 0.5 cP (50 °C)
  • 0.305 cP (100 °C)[1]
1.87 D (24 °C)[1]
225.11 J/mol·K[2]
−609.6 kJ/mol[2]
3467 kJ/mol[2]
Main hazards Flammable
GHS pictograms [3]
GHS Signal word Warning
H226, H336[3]
NFPA 704 (fire diamond)
Flash point 22 °C (72 °F; 295 K)[4]
370 °C (698 °F; 643 K)[4]
150 ppm[1] (TWA), 200 ppm[1] (STEL)
Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):
10768 mg/kg (rats, oral)[4]
160 ppm (rat, 4 hr)
2000 ppm (rat, 4 hr)
391 ppm (rat, 4 hr)
1242 ppm (mouse, 2 hr)[5]
14,079 ppm (cat, 72 min)
13,872 ppm (guinea pig, 4 hr)[5]
NIOSH (US health exposure limits):
PEL (Permissible)
TWA 150 ppm (710 mg/m3)[4]
REL (Recommended)
TWA 150 ppm (710 mg/m3) ST 200 ppm (950 mg/m3)[6]
IDLH (Immediate danger)
1700 ppm[6]
Related compounds
Related acetates
Ethyl acetate
Propyl acetate
Amyl acetate
Related compounds
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Y verify (what is YN ?)
Infobox references

The other three isomers of butyl acetate are isobutyl acetate, tert-butyl acetate, and sec-butyl acetate.


Butyl acetates are commonly manufactured by the Fischer esterification of butanol (or its isomer to make an isomer of butyl acetate) and acetic acid with the presence of catalytic sulfuric acid under reflux conditions with this reaction:[7]

Occurrence in nature

Apples, especially of the 'Red Delicious' variety, are flavored in part by this chemical. The alarm pheromones emitted by the Koschevnikov gland of honey bees contain butyl acetate.


  1. Lide, David R., ed. (2009). CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics (90th ed.). Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press. ISBN 978-1-4200-9084-0.
  2. Acetic acid, butyl ester in Linstrom, Peter J.; Mallard, William G. (eds.); NIST Chemistry WebBook, NIST Standard Reference Database Number 69, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg (MD), http://webbook.nist.gov (retrieved 2014-06-28)
  3. Sigma-Aldrich Co., Butyl acetate. Retrieved on 2014-06-28.
  4. "MSDS of n-Butyl acetate". fishersci.ca. Fisher Scientific. Retrieved 2014-06-28.
  5. "n-Butyl acetate". Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health Concentrations (IDLH). National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
  6. NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards. "#0072". National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
  7. Acetic acid. (2003). In Ullman's encyclopedia of industrial chemistry (6th ed., Vol. 1, pp. 170-171). Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH.
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