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 If one does not have ethyl acetate

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Vitali Posted - 25/01/2018 : 13:58:21
I suspect everyone has experience with beetles killed and preserved by local collectors in alcohol or benzine, which become very stiff, fragile and sometimes impossible to spread.

This is probably a trivial question, but can anybody advise any other beetle killing method for the case when ethyl acetate or deep freezer is excluded?

I would like to forward the advice to some African collectors.
9   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Xavier Posted - 21/04/2022 : 17:08:48
Nice advice !
Chelidonium Posted - 21/04/2022 : 11:05:29
I would like to tell you about an interesting experience of searching for ethyl acetate in S-Vietnam in 1994.
By pure accident I found in Ho Chi Minh-city a chemical store, but the sellers did not speak English at all, and all my attempts to explain my need ended in nothing.
All the next day I tried to remember out how to solve this problem. I'm not good in chemistry and I didn’t have an internet or other sources, so it took me a long time to recover the chemical formula of this chemical. But I remembered that it is “Ethyl ester of acetic acid”.
The next day I came to the store and showed to seller the paper with formula of ethyl acetate:

4.82 KB

And the seller immediately brought a half-liter bottle. There were many Chinese hieroglyphs on the label and a small inscription in English - “ethyl acetate”.
It was happiness!

Thus my advice is:
1. Look for a chemical store - there is such a store in the capital of any country in the world.
2. Show to seller the chemical formula of ethyl acetate.
It can help you also: CH3-COO-CH2-CH3 or C4H8O2
3. Ethyl acetate is a simple chemical and is a common solvent for paint, waxes, greases, polyurethane, nitrocellulose, etc. Ethyl acetate is widely used as a solvent because of its low cost and low toxicity. It shouldn't be much of a problem to find ethyl acetate if you know how and where to look for it.
Xavier Posted - 26/01/2018 : 11:58:27
Originally posted by Vitali

nail polish , which had "acetone free" label on front etiquette

Yes, very important, otherwise insects are extremely difficult to spread !
Vitali Posted - 26/01/2018 : 11:15:29
Very interesting. Thank you all.
Indeed, I found a bottle of nail polish remover at home, which had "acetone free" label on front etiquette, while ethyl acetate and isopropyl alcohol were listed on the back side. I guess it would work, though probably not that efficiently as pure ethyl acetate.

Norbert, unfortunately I have no choice to go to Zambia myself, but do I understand correctly that it was possible to buy nail polish remover on the place?

One question to Riana. You probably meant "methylated spirits", but is this right 10% TCP that prevents insects from turning stiff and fragile after drying? Otherwise alcohol is alcohol irrespective of whether it is methylated or not. If a beetle is taken out of alcohol right before spreading, it can be spread normally. If it has dried in between, it is often impossible to relax. For that reason, beetle which are caught in alcohol jars in Malaise traps in Uganda, are sent here hermetically packed in alcohol soaked tissue.
Xavier Posted - 26/01/2018 : 09:35:24
The problem is to transport ethyl acetate in quantities (by airplane). Buy nail polish remover and give it to the hunters may be a solution. In Southeast Asia, they even sell them in small shops, so I do it when I'm out of acetate. In Africa, I don't know.
Then there may be other solutions...
Norbert Posted - 26/01/2018 : 06:53:10

When I was living in Zambia, I always have few dozen nail polish bottles in my car to give to collectors in the bush.
Also rice, washing powder, food, clothes.... for them.
Few years before but THE best part of my life !
People are so nice there.
In case you have choice and you want to go there, I have some good places to share.
In one village, all were collecting beetles and with the money they earned, they have renovated the local school....

Riana Posted - 25/01/2018 : 23:22:09
why not mentholated spirits with 10 % TCP. you asking people in the bush to get something that is not available.
Robert Posted - 25/01/2018 : 17:25:00
Yes, Xavier is right.
Usually, on a nail polish remover bottle, when it says "acetone free", the main ingredient is ethyl acetate.
At least it is the way it is labelled here in NA.
Xavier Posted - 25/01/2018 : 16:43:52
Nail polish remover, but check the label for ethyl acetate.
Nail polish remover can be purchased everywhere, I think.

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