Esterification: Acetic acid esters


Acetic acids esters consist generally of C1 to C4 alkyl groups. C1-C4 alkyl acetates include:

  • Methyl acetate (C1): CH3COOCH3
  • Ethyl acetate (C2): CH3COOCH2CH3
  • n-propyl acetate (C3): CH3COOCH2CH2CH3
  • Isopropyl acetate (C4): CH3COOCH2CH2CH2CH3
  • Isobutyl acetate (C4): CH3COOCH2CH(CH3)2


The usage of acetic acid esters in coatings is decreasing, whereas the usage in printing inks and adhesives/sealant is still growing with low percentage. Acetic acid esters are formed at elevated temperatures of up to 140°C (285°F) under acidic conditions. In more and more processes sulphuric acid is replaced by heterogeneous catalysts which are more ecologically friendly.


Typical reactions





Synthesis of n-butyl acetate by direct esterification





Recommended esterification catalysts:



* For more information about these new esterification catalysts please contact your Chemra sales representative.


Related page: Typical properties of TREVER®|LYST polymeric catalysts.