Toluene occurs naturally at low levels in crude oil and is usually produced in the processes of making gasoline via a catalytic reformer, in an ethylene cracker or making coke from coal. Final separation, either via distillation or solvent extraction, takes place in one of the many available processes for extraction of the BTX aromatics (benzene, toluene and xylene isomers).
Hexanes are chiefly obtained by the refining of crude oil. The exact composition of the fraction depends largely on the source of the oil (crude or reformed) and the constraints of the refining. The industrial product (usually around 50% by weight of the straight-chain isomer) is the fraction boiling at 65–70 °C.
Ethyl acetate is synthesized in industry mainly via the classic Fischer esterification reaction of ethanol and acetic acid. This mixture converts to the ester in about 65% yield at room temperature:
CH3CH2OH + CH3COOH ⇌ CH3COOCH2CH3 + H2O
The reaction can be accelerated by acid catalysis and the equilibrium can be shifted to the right by removal of water. It is also prepared in industry using the Tishchenko reaction, by combining two equivalents of acetaldehyde in the presence of an alkoxide catalyst:
2 CH3CHO → CH3COOCH2CH3