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Reactive Group Datasheet

Esters, Sulfate Esters, Phosphate Esters, Thiophosphate Esters, and Borate Esters

What are reactive groups?

Reactive groups are categories of chemicals that typically react in similar ways because they are similar in their chemical structure. Each substance with a chemical datasheet has been assigned to one or more reactive groups, and CAMEO Chemicals uses the reactive group assignments to make its reactivity predictions. More info about reactivity predictions...

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There are 538 chemical datasheets assigned to this reactive group.

Description

Flammability
Many esters are flammable or highly flammable. Low-molecular-weight esters like methyl formate have low flash points and wide flammability limits, making them dangerous flammability hazards. All are capable of being combustible and can yield highly toxic gases such as carbon monoxide, phosphorus oxides, or sulfur oxides when burned. Some may spontaneously heat and ignite if stored wet and hot.
Reactivity
Carboxylic esters react 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 by the interaction of esters with caustic solutions. Flammable hydrogen is generated by mixing esters with alkali metals and hydrides.

Phosphate and thiophosphate esters are susceptible to formation of highly toxic and flammable phosphine gas in the presence of strong reducing agents such as hydrides. Partial oxidation by oxidizing agents may result in the release of toxic phosphorus oxides.
Toxicity
The toxicity of compounds in this group varies widely. Inhalation of the fumes from some esters irritates the mucous membranes. Carboxylic esters have low to moderate toxicity via dermal and oral exposure. Some esters are used as flavoring agents in foodstuffs. The pyrophosphate esters (such as tetraethyl pyrophosphate) are highly toxic. These derivatives form the basis of a group of insecticides. They interfere with normal nerve transmission by inhibiting cholinesterase. These pesticides should be handled with great care (when released to the environment they are rapidly degraded). Other organophosphates behave similarly.
Other Characteristics
Carboxylic esters are formed by replacing the acidic hydrogen of a carboxylic acid with an organic group that is usually derived from an alcohol. They have the general formula RCOOR'. Their names are derived from the names of the acid and alcohol from which they are synthesized. Esters include the edible fats and oils, which are mixed esters between the triol glycerol and fatty acids. Esters are prominent in the perfumery and flavoring industries. They are used to manufacture synthetic fibers such as polyester and plastics.

Sulfate esters, phosphate esters, and thiophosphate esters are derivatives of sulfuric acid, thiosulfonic acid, and phosphoric acid in which S may substitute for O and organic groups may substitute for H. They include phospholipids or phosphatides, which are distributed widely in nature in the form of lecithin, certain proteins, and nucleic acids; pyrophosphates (or diphosphates) which form when phosphate groups condense with the elimination of a molecule of water; phosphate esters of polyols, which are used as components of fertilizer mixtures.
Examples
Ethyl acetate, methyl acrylate, cyclohexyl acrylate, butyl propionate, butyl lactate, butyl formate, butyl acetate, benzyl acetate, amyl butyrate, amyl acetate, allyl acetate, acephate, chlormephos, chlorfenvinfos, coumaphos, demeton, diazinon, dimethoate, ethoprophos, fenamiphos, hexaethyl tetraphosphate, isofenphos, mevinphos, monocrotophos, profenofos, propetamphos.

Reactivity Documentation

Use the links below to find out how this reactive group interacts with any of the reactive groups in the database.

The predicted hazards and gas byproducts for each reactive group pair will be displayed, as well as documentation and references that were used to make the reactivity predictions.

Mix Esters, Sulfate Esters, Phosphate Esters, Thiophosphate Esters, and Borate Esters with: