Acetone: Uses and Properties
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Acetone is well known to the scientists for many centuries. It was produced for the first time by the alchemists in the Middle Ages by the distillation of metal acetates. The empirical formula of the compound was determined only in 1832 by Jean-Baptiste Dumas and Justus von Liebig. The first person to develop the industrial manufacture of acetone was Chaim Weizmann. This method was named Weizmann Process. Nowadays, the most popular way of commercial production of the chemical is cumene hydroperoxide process. It is also prepared by the dehydrogenation of isopropyl alcohol.

Properties of Acetone

Pure acetone is a colorless extremely flammable liquid with the chemical formula C3H6O and CAS № 67-64-1. Its preferred IUPAC name is propan-2-one. The compound has several more names, among them: dimethyl ketone, dimethyl carbonyl, β-ketopropane, propanone and 2-propanone. Alternatively, the substance may be called dimethyl formaldehyde, pyroacetic spirit, or ketone propane. It belongs to ketones group and is considered as the smallest and the simplest ketone.

This organic is highly volatile and has a pungent, irritating odor. It dissolves easily in water, alcohols, and many others organic liquids. The compound is also characterized by the following properties:

  • Molar mass: 58.08 g·mol−1;
  • Density: 0.7845 g/cm3;
  • Melting point: −94.7 °C;
  • Boiling point: 05 °C;
  • Flash point: −20 °C.

Acetone exhibits only slight toxicity and despite being corrosive to human tissue, does not have chronic health effect if basic safety precautions are kept.

Uses and Benefits

The main uses of acetone are tightly connected with its ability to dissolve fats, resins, ethers, etc. It is used as a laboratory solvent in a variety of organic reactions. Besides, it is applied to rinsing lab glassware, because it is cheap and volatile.

This organic is widely used in industry for the manufacture of nail polish remover, alkyd paints, lacquers, inks, vinyl, cosmetics, pharmaceutical drugs, food additives and many others. It serves as chemical intermediate and as a starting material in the synthesis of different compounds.

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