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Environmental fate & pathways

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Ethyl acetate will react with photochemically-produced hydroxyl radicals. Clean atmosphere half-life is 8.3 days and moderately-polluted atmosphere half-life can be estimated as around 2.1 days (both values based on a 12 hour sunlit day).  With a typical tropospheric OH concentration of 1 x 106 molecule cm-3, the estimated trophospheric lifetime for ethyl acetate was 7 days.  Effective pseduo-first order rate constant; results suggested that H-atom abstraction takes place at the alkoxy end of the molecule. In the presence of the initiator NO and under artificial sunlight irradiation 2.6x the strength of normal sunlight, the half life for degradation was determined to be around 15 hours at a concentration of 10ppm.

Data on ethyl acetate has been reported which suggested that the substance is effectively resistant to hydrolysis under neutral and acid conditions but that under increasingly basic conditions, hydrolysis increasingly occurs. At pH9, the half life for hydrolysis is 7.5 days compared to 2 years or longer at pH 7 and below.