[Histonet] Re: Banana smelling chemical in our formalin

Robert Richmond rsrichmond <@t> gmail.com
Tue Jan 25 10:31:49 CST 2011

Amyl acetate ("banana oil") is produced by an alternate fermentation
pathway by some of the yeasts used to make Hefeweizen type beers. The
thought of recycling such a fine beer horrifies me.

Ethyl acetate, formed by esterification of ethanol with acetic acid as
fixatives such as Davidson's and O-Fix age, smells like airplane dope
(if you're old enough to remember airplane dope) or nail polish
remover (if you aren't). Obviously these fixatives could easily be
mixed with formalin for recycling, since they also contain

About 25 years ago there was a fad for "odor masked" formaldehyde
solutions. The ones I used smelled even worse than formaldehyde, but
they didn't smell like banana oil. I don't know if these solutions are
still available.

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN

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