Isoamyl acetate, also known as isopentyl acetate, is an organic compound that is the ester formed from isoamyl alcohol and acetic acid. It is a colorless liquid that is only slightly soluble in water, but very soluble in most organic solvents. Isoamyl acetate has a strong odor which is also described as similar to both banana and pear. Pure isoamyl acetate, or mixtures of isoamyl acetate, amyl acetate, and other flavors may be referred to as Banana oil.
|Preferred IUPAC name
|Systematic IUPAC name
3D model (JSmol)
|UN number||1104 1993|
CompTox Dashboard (EPA)
|Molar mass||130.187 g·mol−1|
|Melting point||−78 °C (−108 °F; 195 K)|
|Boiling point||142 °C (288 °F; 415 K)|
|0.3% (20 °C)|
|Vapor pressure||4 mmHg or 0.533 kPa (20 °C)|
Refractive index (nD)
|1.4020 at 20°|
|GHS Signal word||Danger|
|H226, H315, H319, H335, H336, H372|
|P210, P233, P240, P241, P242, P243, P260, P261, P264, P270, P271, P280, P302+352, P303+361+353, P304+340, P305+351+338, P312, P314, P321, P332+313, P337+313, P362, P370+378, P403+233, P403+235|
|NFPA 704 (fire diamond)|
|Flash point||25 °C (77 °F; 298 K)|
|Explosive limits||1.0% (100 °C) – 7.5%|
|Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):|
LD50 (median dose)
|7422 mg/kg (rabbit, oral)|
16,600 mg/kg (rat, oral)
LCLo (lowest published)
|6470 ppm (cat)|
|NIOSH (US health exposure limits):|
|TWA 100 ppm (525 mg/m3)|
|TWA 100 ppm (525 mg/m3)|
IDLH (Immediate danger)
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Isoamyl acetate is prepared by the acid catalyzed reaction (Fischer esterification) between isoamyl alcohol and glacial acetic acid as shown in the reaction equation below. Typically, sulfuric acid is used as the catalyst. Alternatively, p-toluenesulfonic acid or an acidic ion exchange resin can be used as the catalyst.
It is also used as a solvent for some varnishes and nitrocellulose lacquers. As a solvent and carrier for materials such as nitrocellulose, it was extensively used in the aircraft industry for stiffening and wind-proofing fabric flying surfaces, where it and its derivatives were generally known as 'aircraft dope'. Now that most aircraft are all-metal, such use is now mostly limited to historically accurate reproductions and scale models.
Occurrence in nature
Isoamyl acetate occurs naturally in the banana plant and it is also produced synthetically.
- NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards. "#0347". National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
- "Isoamyl acetate". Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health Concentrations (IDLH). National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
- "Iso-amyl acetate". chemicalland21.com.
- Karl-Georg Fahlbusch, Franz-Josef Hammerschmidt, Johannes Panten, Wilhelm Pickenhagen, Dietmar Schatkowski, Kurt Bauer, Dorothea Garbe, Horst Surburg "Flavors and Fragrances" in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, 2002. doi:10.1002/14356007.a11_141.
- McGee, Harold (2003). On Food and Cooking. New York: Scribner.
- Isoamyl Acetate Archived 2010-05-28 at the Wayback Machine, Occupational Safety and Health Administration
- Boch R; Shearer DA; Stone BC (September 8, 1962). "Identification of isoamyl acetate as an active component in the sting pheromone of the honey bee". Nature. England: Nature Publishing Group. 195 (4845): 1018–20. doi:10.1038/1951018b0. PMID 13870346.
- Isoamyl Acetate Safety Data Sheet