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Methyl formate

Methyl formate
Methyl formate structure
Chemical Name:
Methyl formate
Metil;acid-Me;HCOOCH3;Methylformiat;Methylformiaat;METHYL FORMATE;methylformiaate;formiatedemethyle;metil(formiatodi);METHYL METHANOATE
Molecular Formula:
Formula Weight:
MOL File:

Methyl formate Properties

Melting point:
-100 °C
Boiling point:
32-34 °C(lit.)
0.974 g/mL at 20 °C(lit.)
vapor density 
2.1 (vs air)
vapor pressure 
32.91 psi ( 55 °C)
refractive index 
n20/D 1.343(lit.)
Flash point:
−16 °F
storage temp. 
Flammables area
Clear colorless
4-5 (200g/l, H2O, 20℃)
Pleasant; agreeable.
explosive limit
Water Solubility 
300 G/L (20 ºC)
λ: 259 nm Amax: 1.00
λ: 260 nm Amax: 0.70
λ: 265 nm Amax: 0.20
λ: 270 nm Amax: 0.04
λ: 310-400 nm Amax: 0.01
Exposure limits
TLV-TWA 100 ppm (~250 mg/m3) (ACGIH, MSHA, and OSHA); TLV-STEL 150 ppm (~375 mg/m3) (ACGIH); IDLH 5000 ppm (NIOSH).
Stable. Extremely flammable. Readily forms explosive mixtures with air. Note low flash point and very wide explosion limits. Incompatible with oxidizing agents.
CAS DataBase Reference
107-31-3(CAS DataBase Reference)
NIST Chemistry Reference
Methyl formate(107-31-3)
EPA Substance Registry System
Formic acid, methyl ester(107-31-3)
  • Risk and Safety Statements
  • Hazard and Precautionary Statements (GHS)
  • NFPA
Hazard Codes  F+,Xn
Risk Statements  12-20/22-36/37
Safety Statements  9-16-24-26-33
RIDADR  UN 1243 3/PG 1
WGK Germany  1
RTECS  LQ8925000
Autoignition Temperature 842 °F
HS Code  2915 13 00
HazardClass  3
PackingGroup  I
Hazardous Substances Data 107-31-3(Hazardous Substances Data)
Toxicity LD50 orally in Rabbit: 1500 mg/kg LD50 dermal Rat > 4000 mg/kg
Signal word: Danger
Hazard statements:
Code Hazard statements Hazard class Category Signal word Pictogram P-Codes
H224 Extremely flammable liquid and vapour Flammable liquids Category 1 Danger
H302 Harmful if swallowed Acute toxicity,oral Category 4 Warning P264, P270, P301+P312, P330, P501
H319 Causes serious eye irritation Serious eye damage/eye irritation Category 2A Warning P264, P280, P305+P351+P338,P337+P313P
H331 Toxic if inhaled Acute toxicity,inhalation Category 3 Danger P261, P271, P304+P340, P311, P321,P403+P233, P405, P501
H335 May cause respiratory irritation Specific target organ toxicity, single exposure;Respiratory tract irritation Category 3 Warning
H371 May cause damage to organs Specific target organ toxicity, single exposure Category 2 Warning P260, P264, P270, P309+P311, P405,P501
Precautionary statements:
P210 Keep away from heat/sparks/open flames/hot surfaces. — No smoking.
P260 Do not breathe dust/fume/gas/mist/vapours/spray.
P261 Avoid breathing dust/fume/gas/mist/vapours/spray.
P303+P361+P353 IF ON SKIN (or hair): Remove/Take off Immediately all contaminated clothing. Rinse SKIN with water/shower.
P305+P351+P338 IF IN EYES: Rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Remove contact lenses, if present and easy to do. Continuerinsing.
P405 Store locked up.

NFPA 704

Diamond Hazard Value Description
2 0
Health   2 Intense or continued but not chronic exposure could cause temporary incapacitation or possible residual injury (e.g. diethyl ether, ammonium phosphate, iodine)
Flammability   4 Will rapidly or completely vaporize at normal atmospheric pressure and temperature, or is readily dispersed in air and will burn readily. Includes pyrophoric substances. Flash point below room temperature at 22.8 °C (73 °F). (e.g. acetylene, propane, hydrogen gas)
Instability   0 Normally stable, even under fire exposure conditions, and is not reactive with water (e.g. helium,N2)

(NFPA, 2010)

Methyl formate price More Price(21)

Manufacturer Product number Product description CAS number Packaging Price Updated Buy
Sigma-Aldrich 06547 Methyl formate analytical standard 107-31-3 5ml $69 2018-11-13 Buy
Sigma-Aldrich 259705 Methyl formate spectrophotometric grade, 99% 107-31-3 1l $199 2018-11-13 Buy
TCI Chemical F0057 Methyl Formate >95.0%(GC) 107-31-3 25mL $14 2018-11-22 Buy
TCI Chemical F0057 Methyl Formate >95.0%(GC) 107-31-3 500mL $20 2018-11-22 Buy
Alfa Aesar A15850 Methyl formate, 97%, may cont. up to ca 3% methanol 107-31-3 2500ml $49.1 2018-11-13 Buy

Methyl formate Chemical Properties,Uses,Production


Methyl formate is the methyl ester form of formic acid. It can be used for the manufacturing of fromamide, dimethylformamide, acetic acid and formic acid. It has been proposed to be a building block in C1 chemistry (processes that convert molecules with one carbon atom such as carbon monoxide, methanol, formaldehyde and methane into organic compounds with increased carbon number). It can also be used for quick-drying finishes and a blowing agent for some polyurethane foam due to its high vapor pressure. It can also be used as an insecticide.

Chemical Properties

colourless liquid

Chemical Properties

Methyl formate is a colorless liquid with a pleasant odor.

Chemical Properties

Methyl formate , also called methyl methanoate, is the methyl ester of formic acid. The simplest example of an ester, it is a clear liquid with an ethereal odour, high vapor pressure, and low surface tension.


Methyl formate is used as a fumigant, as alarvicide for food crops, and as a solvent forcellulose acetate.


Methyl formate is used primarily to manufacture formamide, dimethyl formamide, and formic acid. Because of its high vapor pressure, it is used for quick - drying finishes. It is also used as an insecticide and to manufacture certain pharmaceuticals. Foam Supplies, Inc. has trademarked Ecomate, which is used as a blowing agent for foam insulation, as a replacement for CFC, HCFC, or HFCs, with zero ozone depletion potential and < 25 global warming potential.
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. Owners of methyl formate refrigerators should keep in mind that, even though they operate below atmospheric pressure, if evidence of a leak develops, they should take measures to avoid exposure to the ether-smelling liquid and vapor.


Fumigant and larvicide for tobacco and food crops. Fire hazard is avoided by use with CO2.

Production Methods

In the laboratory, methyl formate can be produced by the condensation reaction of methanol and formic acid, as follows:
Industrial methyl formate, however, is usually produced by the combination of methanol and carbon monoxide (carbonylation) in the presence of a strong base, such as sodium methoxide :
This process, practiced commercially by BASF among other companies gives 96 % selectivity toward methyl formate, although it can suffer from catalyst sensitivity to water, which can be present in the carbon monoxide feedstock, commonly derived from synthesis gas. Very dry carbon monoxide is, therefore, an essential requirement.

General Description

A clear colorless liquid with an agreeable odor. Flash point -27°F. Less dense than water Vapors heavier than air.

Air & Water Reactions

Highly flammable. Water soluble. Reacts slowly with water to give formic acid, a corrosive material, and methanol, a flammable liquid. Both products are dissolved in the water.

Reactivity Profile

Methyl formate reacts with acids to liberate heat along with alcohols and acids. Strong oxidizing acids may cause a vigorous reaction that is sufficiently exothermic to ignite the reaction products. Heat is also generated with caustic solutions. Flammable hydrogen is generated by mixing with alkali metals and hydrides.


Flammable, dangerous fire and explosionrisk, explosive limits in air 5.9–20%. Eye, upperand lower respiratory tract irritant.

Health Hazard

Inhalation causes irritation of mucous membranes. Prolonged inhalation can produce narcosis and central nervous symptoms, including some temporary visual disturbance. Contact with liquid irritates eyes and may irritate skin if allowed to remain. Ingestion causes irritation of mouth and stomach and central nervous system depression, including visual disturbances.

Health Hazard

Methyl formate is a moderately toxic com pound affecting eyes, respiratory tract, andcentral nervous system. It is an irritant tothe eyes, nose, and lungs. Exposure to highconcentrations of its vapors in air may pro duce visual disturbances, irritations, narcoticeffects, and respiratory distress in humans.Such effects may be manifested at a 1-hourexposure to about 10,000-ppm concentration.Cats died of pulmonary edema from 2-hourexposure to this concentration
The acute oral toxicity of methyl formatewas low in test subjects. The symptoms werenarcosis, visual disturbances, and dyspnea.An oral LD50 value in rabbit is in the range1600 mg/kg..

Fire Hazard

Behavior in Fire: Vapor is heavier than air and may travel considerable distance to a source of ignition and flash back.

Fire Hazard

Flash Point (°F): -26 ℃; Flammable Limits in Air (%): 5-22.7; Fire Extinguishing Agents: Dry chemical, carbon dioxide, alcohol foam; Fire Extinguishing Agents Not To Be Used: Water may be ineffective; Special Hazards of Combustion Products: Not pertinent; Behavior in Fire: Vapor is heavier than air and may travel a considerable distance to source of ignition and flash back; Ignition Temperature (°F): 853; Electrical Hazard: Data not available; Burning Rate: 2.5 mm/min.

Chemical Reactivity

Reactivity with Water Slow reaction to form formic acid and methyl alcohol; reaction is not hazardous; Reactivity with Common Materials: No reaction; Stability During Transport: Stable; Neutralizing Agents for Acids and Caustics: Not pertinent; Polymerization: Not pertinent; Inhibitor of Polymerization: Not pertinent.

Safety Profile

Moderately toxic by ingestion. Inhalation of vapor can cause irritation to nasal passages and conjunctiva, optic neuritis, narcosis, retching, and death from pulmonary irritation. Industrial fatalities have occurred only with exposure to high concentrations. Flammable liquid. Very dangerous fire hazard when exposed to heat or flame; can react vigorously with oxidizing materials. Explosive in the form of vapor when exposed to heat or flame. Reacts with methanol + sodium methoxide to form an explosive product. To fight fire, use alcohol foam, CO2, dry chemical. When heated to decomposition it emits acrid smoke and irritating fumes.

Potential Exposure

Methyl formate is used as a solvent; as an intermediate in pharmaceutical manufacture; and as a fumigant

First aid

If this chemical gets into the eyes, remove any contact lenses at once and irrigate immediately for at least 15 minutes, occasionally lifting upper and lower lids. Seek medical attention immediately. If this chemical contacts the skin, remove contaminated clothing and wash immediately with soap and water. Seek medical attention immediately. If this chemical has been inhaled, remove from exposure, begin rescue breathing (using universal precautions, including resuscitation mask) if breathing has stopped and CPR if heart action has stopped. Transfer promptly to a medical facility. When this chemical has been swallowed, get medical attention. Give large quantities of water and induce vomiting. Do not make an unconscious person vomit. Medical observation is recommended for 24 to 48 hours after breathing overexposure, as pulmonary edema may be delayed. As first aid for pulmonary edema, a doctor or authorized paramedic may consider administering a drug or other inhalation therapy


Color code—Red: Flammability Hazard: Store in a flammable liquid storage area or approved cabinet away from ignition sources and corrosive and reactive materials. Prior to working with this chemical, personnel should be trained on its proper handling and storage. Before entering confined space where this chemical may be present, check to make sure that an explosive concentration does not exist. Methyl formate must be stored to avoid contact with strong oxidizers, such as chlorine, bromine, chlorine dioxide; nitrates, and permanganates; since violent reactions occur. Store in tightly closed containers in a cool, well-ventilated area away from heat. Sources of ignition, such as smoking and open flames are prohibited where methyl formate is handled, used, or stored. Metal containers involving the transfer of 5 gal or more of methyl formate should be grounded and bonded. Drums must be equipped with selfclosing valves, pressure vacuum bungs; and flame arresters. Use only nonsparking tools and equipment, especially when opening and closing containers of methyl formate. Wherever methyl formate is used, handled, manufactured, or stored, use explosion-proof electrical equipment and fittings.

Purification Methods

Wash the formate with strong aqueous Na2CO3, dry it with solid Na2CO3 and distil it from P2O5. (Procedure removes free alcohol or acid.) [Beilstein 2 IV 20.]


May form explosive mixture with air. Incompatible with oxidizers (chlorates, nitrates, peroxides, permanganates, perchlorates, chlorine, bromine, fluorine, etc.); contact may cause fires or explosions. Keep away from alkaline materials, strong bases, strong acids, oxoacids, epoxides. Reacts slowly with water to form methanol and formic acid. Contact with water, steam releases formic acid. Compounds of the carboxyl group react with all bases, both inorganic and organic (i.e., amines) releasing substantial heat, water and a salt that may be harmful. Incompatible with arsenic compounds (releases hydrogen cyanide gas), diazo compounds, dithiocarbamates isocyanates, mercaptans, nitrides, and sulfides (releasing heat, toxic, and possibly flammable gases), thiosulfates and dithionites (releasing hydrogen sulfate and oxides of sulfur)

Waste Disposal

Incineration; atomizing in a suitable combustion chamber.


Lee, Jae S., J. C. Kim, and Y. G. Kim. "Methyl formate as a new building block in C1 chemistry." Applied Catalysis 57.1 (1990): 1-30.
Handa, Yash Paul, et al. "Insulating Thermoplastic Foams Made With Methyl Formate-Based Blowing Agents." (2006).

Methyl formate Preparation Products And Raw materials

Raw materials

Preparation Products

Methyl formate Suppliers

Global( 175)Suppliers
Supplier Tel Fax Email Country ProdList Advantage
Henan DaKen Chemical CO.,LTD.
+86-371-55531817 CHINA 21990 58
Henan Tianfu Chemical Co.,Ltd.
0371-55170693 CHINA 20680 55
Mainchem Co., Ltd.
+86-0592-6210733 CHINA 32457 55
Xiamen AmoyChem Co., Ltd
+86 (0)592-605 1114 CHINA 6374 58
Chemwill Asia Co.,Ltd.
86-21-51861608;;; CHINA 24001 58
Hubei Jusheng Technology Co.,Ltd.
86-188-71490254 CHINA 20095 58
career henan chemical co
+86-371-86658258 CHINA 19923 58
J & K SCIENTIFIC LTD. 400-666-7788 +86-10-82848833
+86-10-82849933; China 96815 76
Meryer (Shanghai) Chemical Technology Co., Ltd. +86-(0)21-61259100(Shanghai) +86-(0)755-86170099(ShenZhen) +86-(0)10-62670440(Beijing)
+86-(0)21-61259102(Shanghai) +86-(0)755-86170066(ShenZhen) +86-(0)10-88580358(Beijing) China 40277 62
Alfa Aesar 400-610-6006; 021-67582000
021-67582001/03/05 China 30168 84

View Lastest Price from Methyl formate manufacturers

Image Release date Product Price Min. Order Purity Supply Ability Manufacturer
2018-12-16 Methyl formate
US $7.00 / kg 1kg 99% 100KG career henan chemical co

Methyl formate Spectrum

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