A colourless flammable liquid with a fruity odour, butyl acetate is produced by the esterification of acetic acid using butanol in the presence of a catalyst such assulphuric acid. Its main uses are in paint manufacturing, automobiles, glue in wood coatings, nail care, cosmetics and perfumes, extraction solvent for pharmaceuticals, cleaning fluids and for low-end applications like paint thinner. BAC can be substituted with methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK).
In recent years, the BAC has seen rising demand for uses as an oxygenated solvent substitute for hazardous air pollutants (HAP), such as aromatics and ketones. Long term demand may be threatened in Asia, as policies favouring progressive reduction of volatile organic compounds (VOC) into the atmosphere come into force.
BAC is flammable as both a liquid and a vapour. It is harmful if swallowed or inhaled and irritates the eyes, skin and respiratory tract.
To find out more Butyl Acetate Methodology August 2013