|Jmol-3D images||Image 1|
|Molar mass||136.15 g mol−1|
|Melting point||−12.5 °C (9.5 °F; 260.6 K)|
|Boiling point||199.6 °C (391.3 °F; 472.8 K)|
|Refractive index (nD)||1.5164|
|Flash point||82 °C (180 °F; 355 K)|
|Related compounds||Ethyl benzoate
|Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)|
|(what is: / ?)|
Methyl benzoate is an organic compound. It is an ester with the chemical formula C6H5CO2CH3. It is a colorless liquid that is poorly soluble in water, but miscible with organic solvents. Methyl benzoate has a pleasant smell, strongly reminiscent of the fruit of the feijoa tree, and it is used in perfumery. It also finds use as a solvent and as a pesticide used to attract insects such as orchid bees.
Synthesis and reactions
Methylbenzoate is formed by the condensation of methanol and benzoic acid, in presence of a strong acid such as hydrochloric acid. It reacts both at the ring and the ester. Illustrative of its ability to undergo electrophilic substitution, methyl benzoate undergoes acid-catalysed nitration with nitric acid to give methyl 3-nitrobenzoate. It also undergoes hydrolysis with addition of aqueous NaOH to give methanol and sodium benzoate, which can be acidified with aqueous HCl to form benzoic acid.
Methyl benzoate can be isolated from the freshwater fern Salvinia molesta. It is one of many compounds that is attractive to males of various species of orchid bees, which apparently gather the chemical to synthesize pheromones; it is commonly used as bait to attract and collect these bees for study.
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