|Molar mass||60.05 g·mol−1|
|Melting point||−100 °C (−148 °F; 173 K)|
|Boiling point||32 °C (90 °F; 305 K)|
|Vapor pressure||476 mmHg (20°C)|
|Safety data sheet||Oxford MSDS|
EU classification (DSD)
|Highly flammable (F+); Harmful (Xn)|
|Flash point||−19 °C; −2 °F; 254 K |
|Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):|
LD50 (Median dose)
|1622 mg/kg (oral, rabbit)|
LCLo (Lowest published)
|50,000 ppm (guinea pig, 20 min)|
|US health exposure limits (NIOSH):|
|TWA 100 ppm (250 mg/m3)|
|TWA 100 ppm (250 mg/m3) ST 150 ppm (375 mg/m3)|
IDLH (Immediate danger
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
|(: / ?)|
Methyl formate, also called methyl methanoate, is the methyl ester of formic acid. The simplest example of an ester, it is a colorless liquid with an ethereal odour, high vapor pressure, and low surface tension. It is a precursor to many other compounds of commercial interest.
- Production 1
- Uses 2
- References 3
- External links 4
- CH3OH + CO → HCO2CH3
This process, practiced commercially by BASF among other companies gives 96% selectivity toward methyl formate. The catalyst for this process is sensitive to water, which can be present in the carbon monoxide feedstock, which is commonly derived from synthesis gas. Very dry carbon monoxide is, therefore, essential.
A historical use of methyl formate, which sometimes brings it attention, was in refrigeration. Before the introduction of less-toxic refrigerants, methyl formate was used as an alternative to sulfur dioxide in domestic refrigerators, such as some models of the famous GE Monitor Top.
- "NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards #0417".
- "Methyl formate". Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health.
- Werner Reutemann and Heinz Kieczka "Formic Acid" in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry 2002, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim. doi:10.1002/14356007.a12_013
- Process Economics Reports, Review 88-1-1, Process Economics Program, SRI Consulting, California, 1999
- W. Couteau, J. Ramioulle, US Patent US4216339
- NIST Chemistry WebBook: Methyl formate
- ChemicalLand21.com entry on METHYL FORMATE
- CDC - NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards