Ethyl acrylate

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Ethyl acrylate[1][2]
Skeletal structure of ethyl acrylate
Ball-and-stick model of the ethyl acrylate molecule
IUPAC name
Ethyl propenoate
Other names
Acrylic acid ethyl ester
Ethyl propenoate
Ethyl ester of acrylic acid
140-88-5 YesY
ChemSpider 8490 YesY
Jmol 3D model Interactive image
KEGG C19238 N
RTECS number AT0700000
UNII 71E6178C9T YesY
Molar mass 100.12 g·mol−1
Appearance Clear liquid
Odor Acrid[3]
Density 0.9405 g/mL
Melting point −71 °C (−96 °F; 202 K)
Boiling point 99.4 °C (210.9 °F; 372.5 K)
1.5 g/100 mL
Vapor pressure 29 mmHg (20°C)[3]
Vapor pressure {{{value}}}
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
N verify (what is YesYN ?)
Infobox references

Ethyl acrylate is an organic compound with the formula CH2CHCO2CH2CH3. It is the ethyl ester of acrylic acid. It is a colourless liquid with a characteristic acrid odor. It is mainly produced for paints, textiles, and non-woven fibers.[4] It is also a reagent in the synthesis of various pharmaceutical intermediates.

Production, reactions, and uses

It is produced by acid-catalysed esterification of acrylic acid, which in turn is produced by oxidation of propylene. It may also be prepared from acetylene, carbon monoxide and ethanol by a "Reppe reaction."

Owing to its tendency to polymerize, samples typically contain an inhibitor such as hydroquinone. Ethyl acrylate is a Michael acceptor and a good dienophile.

Ethyl acrylate is used in the production of polymers including resins, plastics, rubber, and denture material.[5]


It is an acute toxin with an LD50 (rats, oral) of 1020 mg/kg and a TLV of 5 ppm. The International Agency for Research on Cancer stated, "Overall evaluation, Ethyl acrylate is possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B)."[6] The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states, "Human studies on occupational exposure to ethyl acrylate... have suggested a relationship between exposure to the chemical(s) and colorectal cancer, but the evidence is conflicting and inconclusive. In a study by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), increased incidences of squamous cell papillomas and carcinomas of the forestomach were observed in rats and mice exposed via gavage (experimentally placing the chemical in the stomach). However, the NTP recently determined that these data were not relevant to human carcinogenicity since humans do not have a forestomach, and removed ethyl acrylate from its list of carcinogens."[7] (Occupational exposure generally involves exposure that occurs regularly, over an extended period of time.)

One favorable safety aspect is that ethyl acrylate has good warning properties; the odor threshold is much lower than any level of health concern. In other words, the bad odor warns people of ethyl acrylate's presence long before the concentration reaches a level capable of creating a serious health risk. Reports of the exact levels vary somewhat, but, for example, the U.S. E.P.A. reports an odor threshold of 0.0012 parts per million (ppm),[7] but the E.P.A.'s lowest level of health concern, the Acute Exposure Guideline Level-1 (AEGL-1) is 8.3 ppm,[8] which is almost 7000 times the odor threshold.


  1. Merck Index, 11th Edition, 3715.
  2. Ethyl acrylate Datasheet at
  3. 3.0 3.1 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named PGCH
  4. Takashi Ohara, Takahisa Sato, Noboru Shimizu, Günter Prescher Helmut Schwind, Otto Weiberg, Klaus Marten, Helmut Greim “Acrylic Acid and Derivatives” in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry 2003, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim. doi: 10.1002/14356007.a01_161.pub2
  5. Ethyl acrylate Hazardous Substance Fact Sheet, New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services
  6. IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, Volume 71, International Agency for Research on Cancer (1999)
  7. 7.0 7.1 EPA Technology Transfer Network, Air Toxics Web Site, United States Environmental Protection Agency (accessed 2008)
  8. EPA Acute Exposure Guideline Levels, Ethyl acrylate Results, United States Environmental Protection Agency (accessed 2008)

External links