Acetone is used chiefly as a solvent in the paints / lacquers industry. It is also widely applied in chemical synthesis. In chemical labs it is used for cleaning of lab glass vessels and as a drying agent.

Acetone is a highly flammable liquid whose vapours form explosive mixtures with air. It is irritating to the eyes. Acetone is readily miscible with water at any proportion. 

Acetone is produced along with phenol using the cumene process whose semi-product is cumene formed in the reaction of alkylation of benzene with propylene in presence of a catalytic complex based on aluminium chloride (AlCl3). Cumene is then separated through of multistage distillation of the alkylate. In the next step cumene undergoes oxidation with oxygen from the air to cumene hydroperoxide, which, in the presence of the catalyst (sulphuric acid), decomposes into phenol and acetone. The decomposition mixture thus obtained undergoes rectification, followed by distillation and purification yielding acetone of 99.6% purity (which enables us to qualify the product as "pure".)


State of matter Liquid
Odour Distinctive
Colour Colourless
Molar mass 58.08
Density (at 20oC), kg/m3 791
Boiling point at 0,1 Mpa pressure, oC, 56.29
Melting point, oC, -94.7
Flash point, oC, -17.0
Autoignition temperature, oC 465
Explosive limits in mixture with air
lower 2.5 % by volume
upper 14.3 % by volume
Refraction coefficient at 20oC 1.35596
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