Examples of Esters, their Occurrence, Production and Uses
a) Methyl Salicylate (or Oil of Wintergreen) has the chemical formula C8H8O3. It is prepared mostly by esterification of salicylic acid with methanol and is present naturally in the leaves of Gaultheria procumbens and in the bark of Betula lenta. Methyl Salicylate is used in perfumery and for flavouring sweets, as well as a therapeutic use as a counter-irritant.
b) Ethyl Acetate (or Acetic Acid Ethyl Ester, or Vinegar Naphtha) has the chemical formula C4H8O2, and is obtained by slow distillation of a mixture of acetic acid, ethyl alcohol and sulfuric acid. Its uses are varied, and include a pharmaceutical aid (flavour); artificial fruit essences; solvent for nitrocellulose, varnishes, lacquers and aeroplane dopes; cleaning textiles, and more!
c) Ethyle Acrylate (or Acrylic Acid Ethyl Ester) has the chemical formula C5H8O2, and is prepared from ethylene chlorohydrin or acrylonitrile, ethanol, and sulfuric acid; also by an oxo reaction from acetylene, carbon monoxide and ethanol in the presence of suitable catalysts. Ethyl Acrylate is used as a monomer in the manufacture of water emulsion paint vehicles, in the production of emulsion-based polymers used in textile and paper coatings, leather finish resins and adhesives, and imparts flexibility to hard films.