Acetone (CH3COCH3), commonly known as 2-propanone or dimethyl ketone, is an organic solvent with significant industrial and chemical applications. It is the simplest and most important among the aliphatic (fat-derived) ketones. Pure acetone is a colourless, somewhat fragrant, flammable, and mobile liquid that boils at 56.2 degrees Celsius (133 degrees Fahrenheit).

A variety of fats and resins, as well as cellulose ether, cellulose acetate, and other cellulose esters, can be dissolved by acetone. Acetone is also capable of dissolving numerous other organic compounds. Because of this latter characteristic, acetone is widely employed in the production of synthetic fibres (such as rayons) and explosives, among other applications. Besides being employed as a chemical intermediate in pharmaceuticals, it is also utilised as a solvent for vinyl and acrylic resins, lacquers, alkyd paint and ink, cosmetics (for example, nail polish remover), and varnishes. As a starting ingredient in the synthesis of various compounds, it is utilised in the creation of paper coatings, adhesives, and heat-seal coatings, among other applications.

Among the processes employed in the commercial manufacturing of acetone, the cumene hydroperoxide process is the most prevalent. Acetone can also be made by dehydrating 2-propanol, which is a chemical compound (isopropyl alcohol).

Acetone structural formula

The structural formula of acetone as well as the organic formula of acetone, along with its structure, are shown below. The structure will assist in a better understanding of this chemical as well as a better understanding of the organic formula.

Acetone is made up of three carbon atoms, six hydrogen atoms, and one oxygen atom. It is a colourless liquid. It is classified as a ketone because it has a carbonyl group, which distinguishes it from other compounds. Consequently, the chemical formula for acetone or propanone is expressed as: Acetone Chemical Formula = C3H6O. Propanone Chemical Formula = C3H6O

What is the composition of acetone? It is possible to write the chemical formula for acetone as C3H6O instead of (CH3)2CO. It is possible to deduce from this formula that an acetone molecule is made up of three carbon atoms, six hydrogen atoms, and one oxygen atom.

This arrangement of atoms in the acetone compound is made up of two methyl groups (CH3) that are bonded on either side of a central carbon atom, forming a hexagonal structure. This centre carbon atom also has a double bond with an oxygen atom, which is a rare combination (forming a carbonyl or ketone functional group).

The molar mass of acetone can be estimated by multiplying the atomic masses of the individual atoms that make up the molecule together. According to our knowledge, there are three Carbon atoms with an atomic mass of 12, six Hydrogen atoms with an atomic mass of 1, and one Oxygen atom with an atomic mass of 16.

As a result, the molar mass is calculated as 12×3 + 1×6 + 16×1 = 58 g/mol.

Acetone’s Characteristics

Physical Characteristics of Acetone

It is a colourless material with a sweetish odour that evaporates quickly. It is classified as a volatile liquid. In addition, the melting point is -94.9oC and the boiling point is 56.08oC for this substance. Acetone has a density of 0.785 g mL-1 (grams per millilitre). In addition, it is miscible with water, benzene, ether, dimethylformamide, and alcohol, among other substances.

The Chemical characteristics of acetone

It contains a carbonyl group –C=O in the core, which causes polarisation of the molecule since carbon is less electronegative than oxygen and hence results in molecule polarisation. Thus, it can be used as a reactant in conjunction with nucleophilic chemicals that attack the deficient in electrons carbonyl carbon molecule.

Acetone Uses

It is a critical building block in the synthesis of organic compounds. In addition, we use it in the medical and cosmetics industries, particularly as a nail polish remover, to name a few applications. It is extensively used in the chemical and petroleum industries to manufacture solvents, adhesives, and sealants, plastic and rubber, agricultural products, coatings, and paints, among other things.

It is used as an intermediate in a variety of other organic synthesises. Acetone is naturally found in the urine and bloodstream. When someone has diabetes, they create a considerable amount of insulin.

Because of this, there is a low likelihood that it may create reproductive difficulties. The ketogenic diet, which the body utilises to counter epileptic attacks in infants and children who suffer from stubborn refractory epilepsy, also causes an increase in the amount of ketone bodies in the blood.

Preparation of Acetone

We obtain acetone by oxidising cumene, which is the most common way used to make the chemical. The procedure is divided into two stages: Benzene interacts with propane to make cumene, which is subsequently oxidised by the flow of oxygen to form cumene hydroperoxide in the first step of the reaction (CHP). Following that, the CHP was broken down into phenol and acetone by the action of the catalyst:

Acetone can also be produced by hydrating isopropyl alcohol in the presence of a copper catalyst, which is an alternative technique of creating acetone.

Acetone effect on body

High levels of acetone inhaled or swallowed over a short period of time can result in headaches, disorientation, nausea, a racing heartbeat, alterations in the size and number of blood cells, unconsciousness (passing out), or coma, depending on the individual. Breathing acetone at a moderate to high concentration can also cause irritation of the nose, throat, lungs, and eyes.

It is possible to have irritation of the nose, throat, lung, and eyes after inhaling moderate to high concentrations of acetone for a short period of time. Women who use the drug may experience headaches, dizziness and disorientation, a quicker heartbeat, nausea and vomiting, effects on the blood, passing out and potential coma, as well as a shorter menstrual cycle.


Acetone is a liquid solvent that has the ability to break down and dissolve a variety of different compounds. Acetone is used in a variety of goods, including nail polish remover, paint remover, and varnish remover, among others. Acetone is also used in the production of plastics, lacquers, and textiles, among other things. Acetone is a colourless solvent that has a strong odour. Solvents are compounds that have the ability to break down or dissolve other substances. When it comes to domestic items, acetone can be found in products such as nail polish remover and paint remover, among others. Acetone can be found in the environment in a variety of forms, including trees, plants, volcanic gases, and forest fires. Small levels of the substance are also found in the body. However, prolonged exposure to acetone can cause irritation of the eyes, nose, and skin. Acetone poisoning can occur as a result of ingesting it.

You are watching: NEET UG :Acetone. Info created by GBee English Center selection and synthesis along with other related topics.