|Molar mass||102.13 g/mol|
-95 °C (178K)
102 °C (375K)
|Solubility in water||1.5 g/100 mL (22 °C)|
|Refractive index (nD)||1.386|
|Flash point||12 °C|
(what is this?) |
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Methyl butyrate, also known under the systematic name methyl butanoate, is the methyl ester of butyric acid. As with most esters, it has a fruity odour in this case resembling apples or pineapples. At room temperature, it is a colourless liquid with a low solubility in water, upon which it floats to form an oily layer. Although it is flammable, it has a relatively low vapour pressure (40mm Hg at 30OC) so can be safely handled at room temperature without special safety precautions.
It is present in small amounts in several plant products, most noticeably pineapple oil. It can be produced by distillation from essential oils of vegetable origin, but is also manufactured on a small scale for use in perfumes and as a food flavouring.
Methyl butanoate has been used in combustion studies as a surrogate fuel for the larger fatty acid methyl esters found in biodiesel. However, studies have shown that due to its short chain length methyl butanoate does not reproduce well the negative temperature coefficient (NTC) behaviour and early CO2 formation characteristics of real biodiesel fuels. Therefore, methyl butanoate is not a suitable surrogate fuel for biodiesel combustion studies.