Ethyl propionate is a sweet, rum-smelling ester of propionic acid and ethanol. It is less volatile and safer option for chlorinated solvents, toluene, benzene, MTBE, hexane, or even ethyl acetate. A study by Zakko and co-workers established that ethyl propionate is less toxic and more user-friendly than MTBE (Zakko, S. F., Gastroenterology, 1997, 113: 232-237).
In biofuel applications, ethyl propionate is mentioned as the reference short chain fatty acid ester used as a first generation biodiesel (Andersen, V. F., J. Phys. Chem A. 2012, 116, 21, 5164-5179)
In air care applications, the rum scent of ethyl propionate is irresistible resulting its use as a pineapple, rum-like odorant.
Other mainstream applications include
cleaning solutions additive
nickel electroplating additive
specialty reagent in plastic, rubber, dyes, and medicinal drug manufacturing