In China, most of the methyl acetate is produced as a by-product in the production of Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), which is a useful polymer for producing synthetic fiber, film, etc. The amount of methyl acetate produced is about 1.68 times the amount of PVA product by weight.
Production method of methyl acetate:
First, vinyl acetate is polymerized to form poly vinyl acetate in an organic solvent such as methanol, and then, polyvinyl acetate dissolved in methanol is hydrolyzed to poly vinyl alcohol producing methyl acetate as a by-product. The reactions are as follows:
Advantages of methyl acetate:
Methyl Acetate is a fast evaporating, mild odor, active solvent that can be used with a broad range of coating and ink resins. Because of its fast evaporation rate, methyl acetate is useful as the fast-evaporating component in high-low solvent systems and in other applications where fast solvent release and quick dry-to-touch time are needed.
Methyl acetate has low toxicity, is readily biodegradable, VOC(Volatile Organic Compound) exempted, and not considered as a hazardous air pollutant, making it an environmental friendly solvent.Compared with other fast evaporating solvents, methyl acetate gives solution viscosity somewhat higher than acetone or MEK but lower than ethyl acetate. Where a mild odor, fast evaporating solvent is required, methyl acetate is a very good choice for formulators of coating and ink products Methyl acetate is a VOC-exempt, non-HAP, non-ODS, readily biodegradable solvent that can be used in blends to develop environmentally friendly cleaners.
It is an organic solvent which can be used as a replacement of acetone in the production of paints, coatings, metal surface cleaners, adhesives, etc. The following properties make it an ideal replacement for acetone:
It’s evaporation rate is comparable to that of acetone;
It has a higher flash-point compared to acetone;
It is more hydrophobic than acetone;
It has a very low maximum incremental value (MIR) compared to acetone;
It is more cost effective than acetone.
Application of methyl acetate:
Methyl acetate is a volatile low toxicity solvent which can be used as a replacement of acetone in the production of paints, coatings, metal surface cleaners, adhesives, etc. Applications of methyl acetate are as follows:
–Paints and coatings
Methyl acetate is a fast evaporating solvent which is used to produce a wide range of fast drying paints and coatings for wood finishing (lacquers), automotive applications, industrial applications, marine equipment’s and vehicles, cans, etc. Application of methyl acetate in paints and coatings is assisted by the fact that it has a VOC exempted status. It is also an ideal candidate to be used as a solvent in nail polish.
Methyl acetate can be used as a solvent in surface cleaners because of its fast drying and hydrophobic properties. Since methyl acetate evaporates at a fast rate, it doesn’t attract air contaminants to the cleansed surface. Moreover, the hydrophobic property of methyl acetate makes it suitable for cleaning metal surface prior to painting and preparing surface cleaners for marine applications and moisture sensitive equipments.
Methyl acetate is also used as a solvent to produce fast sticking adhesives. Adhesives are produced by dissolving rubbers and resins in methyl acetate. When the adhesive is applied to a surface, methyl acetate evaporates at a fast rate, allowing the adhesive to harden and stick to the surface. Methyl acetate is also used in cosmetics and personal care products such as perfumes, nail polish, nail polish remover, etc.
Compare with other solvents:
|Methyl Formate||Dichloromethane||Diethyl Ether||Methyl Acetate||Acetone||Ethyl Acetate||MEK|
|Boiling Point /℃||31.8||39.1||34.6||57.8||56.1||77.1||79.6|
|Water Solubility @20℃,Wt%||33.0||1.3||6.9||26.8||Complete||7.4||27.0|
|Lower Explosive Limit,Vol%||5||15.5||1.7||3.1||2.5||2.0||2|
|Upper Explosive Limit, Vol%||23||66||48.1||16||13.0||11.4||11|