What is N-Butyl Acetate?

Normal butyl acetate (also known as n-butyl acetate) is a chemical compound with a molecular formula of C6H12O2.  It is commonly used as a solvent in the production of lacquers, inks and adhesives.  This product is a colourless liquid that has a fruity banana odour.  This product is highly flammable with a flash point of 24° C and a flammability rating of 3.   It is highly miscible with all common organic solvents (alcohols, ketones, glycols, esters) but has only slight miscibility in water.

N-Butyl Acetate

How is it produced?

The most common method for creating normal butyl acetate is via the esterification of a butanol isomer and acetic acid which are heated in the presence of a strong acid (e.g.  sulphuric acid).

How is it stored and distributed?

A chemical trader would have a bulk petrochemical storage facility to regulate this product.  Storage is normally in a cool, dry and well ventilated facility away from oxidising agents.  Normal butyl acetate should be kept out of direct sunlight, heat and open flames.  Solvents such as normal butyl acetate should be stored in drummed containers such as isotanks made of stainless steel, aluminium or carbon steel.

A bulk solvent exporter would normally distribute this solvent in bulk vessels or tank trucks.  For transportation purposes, normal butyl acetate is classed as a flammable liquid with a fire hazard rating of 2.  A full bulk chemical distributor would export the solvent throughout regions such as the UK, Europe, Africa and America.  This product is a packing group 3.

What is N-Butyl Acetate used for?

The most common use of normal butyl acetate is as a solvent in the production of lacquers and paints.  Its other major use is in the creation of adhesives and hardened coatings.  Normal butyl acetate is also used in the pharmaceutical industry as a solvent or an extraction agent.  Its minor uses include cosmetic products, fragrance solvent in perfumes, as an anti-corrosive agent, in cleaning and car care products.  It is also used in the synthetic fruit flouring industry.  The main user end markets are the paints/lacquers, coatings, cosmetics, leather, cleaning and the pharmaceutical industries.

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