Methyl lactate

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Methyl DL-Lactate
Methyl L-lactate
IUPAC name
Methyl 2-hydroxypropanoate
Other names
2-Hydroxy- Methyl Ester Propanoic Acid; 2-Hydroxypropanoic Acid, Methyl Ester; Lactic Acid, Methyl Ester
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.008.119
RTECS number OD5670000
Molar mass 104.11 g·mol−1
Appearance colourless clear liquid
Density 1.093 g/cm3
Melting point −66 °C (−87 °F; 207 K)
Boiling point 144 to 145 °C (291 to 293 °F; 417 to 418 K)
Solubility in ethanol
and most alcohols
Main hazards Irritant (Xi)
Safety data sheet MSDS [1]
Irritant Xi
NFPA 704
Flammability code 2: Must be moderately heated or exposed to relatively high ambient temperature before ignition can occur. Flash point between 38 and 93 °C (100 and 200 °F). E.g., diesel fuelHealth code 1: Exposure would cause irritation but only minor residual injury. E.g., turpentineReactivity code 0: Normally stable, even under fire exposure conditions, and is not reactive with water. E.g., liquid nitrogenSpecial hazards (white): no codeNFPA 704 four-colored diamond
Flash point 49 °C (120 °F; 322 K)
Related compounds
Related compounds
Lactic acid
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 lactate, also known as lactic acid methyl ester, is a monobasic ester formed from lactic acid and methanol, commonly used as a solvent. Methyl lactate belongs to the lactate ester group of compounds that are considered nontoxic and highly and readily biodegradable.[1]

Methyl lactate is a colorless clear liquid, completely miscible with water and most organic liquids. It is considered as a green solvent as it is easily biodegradable. It is a solvent for nitrocellulose, cellulase acetate, cellulase acetobutyrote and cellulase acetaprapionate. It is used in the manufacture of lacquers and dopes where it contributes high tolerance for diluents, good flaw and blush resistance.[2]

Methyl lactate hydrolyzes in the presence of water and acids or bases into lactic acid and methanol.


  1. ^ Aparicio, Santiago (May 10, 2007). "Computational Study on the Properties and Structure of Methyl Lactate". J. Phys. Chem. A. 111: 4671–4683. doi:10.1021/jp070841t.
  2. ^ "Industrial Solvents Handbook" by Ernest W. Flick. 5th Edition. William Andrew Inc., 1998. ISBN 0-8155-1413-1, ISBN 978-0-8155-1413-8