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Ethyl formate is used as a solvent for cellulose nitrate, cellulose acetate, greases and oils. It is also used as a flavor for lemonade and essences. It is involved in the fumigation of dried fruits, as an alternative to methyl bromide.
Many illustrations of use in formylation of carbanions are given in Organic Syntheses: For more recent examples, see: Org. Synth. Coll., 6, 590, Note 1 (1988); Org. Synth. Coll., 9, 180 (Note 4), 239, 548 (1998).
ɑ-Formylation of the dilithio derivatives of carboxylic acids, followed by facile decarboxylation, provides an indirect conversion to the corresponding aldehydes: Tetrahedron Lett., 699 (1970); 603 (1974).
Amines readily give N-formyl derivatives, more easily cleaved by hydrolysis than N-acetyl: Can. J. Chem., 60, 3055 (1982); for an example (L-valinol), see: Org. Synth. Coll., 8, 204 (1993).
Janssen, L. M.; van Oosten, R.; Paul, C. E.; Arends, I. W.; Hollmann, F. Lipase-catalyzed transesterification of ethyl formate to octyl formate. J. Mol. Catal. B: Enzym. 2014, 105, 7-10.
Balaganesh, M.; Dash, M. R.; Rajakumar, B. Experimental and Computational Investigation on the Gas Phase Reaction of Ethyl Formate with Cl Atoms. J. Phys. Chem. A 2014, 118 (28), 5272-5278
Hazard Statements: H225-H302-H319-H332-H335
Highly flammable liquid and vapour. Harmful if swallowed. Causes serious eye irritation. Harmful if inhaled. May cause respiratory irritation.
Precautionary Statements: P210-P233-P235-P240-P241-P242-P243-P261-P264b-P270-P271-P280-P301+P312-P303+P361+P353-P304+P340-P305+P351+P338-P312-P330-P337+P313-P370+P378q-P501c
Keep away from heat/sparks/open flames/hot surfaces. - No smoking. Keep container tightly closed. Keep cool. Ground/bond container and receiving equipment. Use explosion-proof electrical/ventilating/lighting/ equipment. Use only non-sparking tools. Take precautionary measures against static discharge. Avoid breathing dust/fume/gas/mist/vapours/spray. Wash face, hands and any exposed skin thoroughly after handling Do not eat, drink or smoke when using this product. Use only outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. Wear protective gloves/protective clothing/eye protection/face protection. IF SWALLOWED: Call a POISON CENTER or doctor/physician if you feel unwell. IF ON SKIN (or hair): Remove/Take off immediately all contaminated clothing. Rinse skin with water/shower. IF INHALED: Remove to fresh air and keep at rest in a position comfortable for breathing. IF IN EYES: Rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Remove contact lenses, if present and easy to do. Continue rinsing. Rinse mouth. If eye irritation persists: Get medical advice/attention. In case of fire: Use CO2, dry chemical, or foam Dispose of contents/ container to an approved waste disposal plant