Slides in this set
What are Esters?
· Esters are compounds formed from the reaction
between alcohols and acids.
· Esters are derived from carboxylic acids. A
carboxylic acid contains the -COOH group, and
in an ester the hydrogen in this group is replaced
by a hydrocarbon group of some kind. This could
be an alkyl group like methyl or ethyl, or one
containing a benzene ring like phenyl.…read more
The most commonly discussed ester is ethyl
ethanoate. In this case, the hydrogen in the -
COOH group has been replaced by an ethyl
group. The formula for ethyl ethanoate is:
· Notice that the ester is named the opposite way
around from the way the formula is written. The
"ethanoate" bit comes from ethanoic acid. The
"ethyl" bit comes from the ethyl group on the
· Esters having an acetic acid or vinegar base are called acetates.
They are used extensively as solvents, due to their ability to dissolve
various greases. Methyl acetate is a solvent for many oils and
resins and is important in the manufacture of artificial leather.
· In the pharmaceutical and food processing industries, ethyl acetate
is used as an extraction solvent. Butyl acetate does not discolor
readily and dries at a reasonable rate; therefore it is an ideal solvent
· Of all the chemical compounds approved by the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) for use as flavorings in food, esters make up
the largest single portion of this group. The flavoring esters are a
major constituent of essential oils which are used in foods as a
natural flavoring.…read more