Methyl Butyrate
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Methyl Butyrate
Methyl butyrate[1]
Methyl butanoate
Ball-and-stick model
Preferred IUPAC name
Methyl butanoate
Other names
Butanoic acid methyl ester
Methyl butyrate
Butyric acid methyl ester
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.009.812
EC Number
  • 210-792-1
MeSH C043811
RTECS number
  • ET5500000
Molar mass  g·mol-1
Appearance Colorless liquid
Density 0.898 g/cm3
Melting point -95 °C (-139 °F; 178 K)
Boiling point 102 °C (216 °F; 375 K)
1.5g/100mL (22°C)
-66.4×10-6 cm3/mol
NFPA 704 (fire diamond)
Flammability code 3: Liquids and solids that can be ignited under almost all ambient temperature conditions. Flash point between 23 and 38 °C (73 and 100 °F). E.g. gasolineHealth code 1: Exposure would cause irritation but only minor residual injury. E.g. turpentineReactivity (yellow): no hazard codeSpecial hazards (white): no codeNFPA 704 four-colored diamond
Flash point 12 °C (54 °F; 285 K)
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references

Methyl butyrate, also known under the systematic name methyl butanoate, is the methyl ester of butyric acid. Like most esters, it has a fruity odor, in this case resembling apples or pineapples.[2] At room temperature, it is a colorless liquid with low solubility in water, upon which it floats to form an oily layer. Although it is flammable, it has a relatively low vapor pressure (40 mmHg at 30 °C (86 °F)), so it can be safely handled at room temperature without special safety precautions.[3]

Methyl butyrate is present in small amounts in several plant products, especially pineapple oil.[4] It can be produced by distillation from essential oils of vegetable origin, but is also manufactured on a small scale for use in perfumes[5] and as a food flavoring.

Methyl butyrate has been used in combustion studies as a surrogate fuel for the larger fatty acid methyl esters found in biodiesel.[6] However, studies have shown that, due to its short-chain length, methyl butyrate does not reproduce well the negative temperature coefficient (NTC) behaviour and early CO2 formation characteristics of real biodiesel fuels. Therefore, methyl butyrate is not a suitable surrogate fuel for biodiesel combustion studies.[7]


  1. ^ Merck Index, 13th Edition
  2. ^ Methyl butyrate,
  3. ^ Aldrich Chemicals Handbook, Sigma-Aldrich Company, Milwaukee, (2007)
  4. ^ Flath, Robert A.; Forrey, R. R. (1970). "Volatile components of Smooth Cayenne pineapple". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 18 (2): 306-309. doi:10.1021/jf60168a018.
  5. ^ Use of methyl butyrate as an additive in perfume Archived 2008-05-31 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Methyl butyrate as a component of biodiesel Archived March 6, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Gaïl, S.; Thomson, M.J.; Sarathy, S.M.; Syed, S.A.; Dagaut, P.; Diévart, P.; Marchese, A.J.; Dryer, F.L. (2007). "A wide-ranging kinetic modeling study of methyl butanoate combustion". Proceedings of the Combustion Institute. 31: 305-311. doi:10.1016/j.proci.2006.08.051.

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