than you want to know about acetone
Acetone (also known as dimethyl ketone, 2-propanone,
propan-2-one and beta-ketopropane) is the simplest representative
of the ketones. Its chemical formula is CH3(CO)CH3 and
its structure is
Acetone is a colorless mobile flammable liquid with
a pleasant, somewhat fruity odor, melting at -95.4 °C
and boiling at 56.53 °C. It has a specific gravity of
0.819 (at 0 °C). It is readily soluble in water, ethanol,
ether, etc., and itself serves as an important solvent.
The most familiar household use of acetone is as the
active ingredient in nail-polish remover. Acetone is
also used to make plastic, fibers, drugs, and other
As a member of the ketone bodies it is present in very
small quantity in normal urine and in the blood. Larger
quantities can be found after starvation and in diabetic
patients with severe insulin deficiency (that is untreated
or inadequately treated persons); a fruity smell of
the breath caused by acetone is one symptom of diabetic
ketoacidosis. See ketone bodies for more information.
Acetone occurs naturally in plants, trees, volcanic
gases, forest fires, and as a product of the breakdown
of body fat. It is present in vehicle exhaust, tobacco
smoke, and landfill sites. Industrial processes contribute
more acetone to the environment than natural processes.
It is found among the products formed in destructive
distillation of wood, sugar, cellulose, etc., and for
this reason it is always present in crude wood spirit,
from which the greater portion of it may be recovered
by fractional distillation.
It forms a hydrazone with phenyl hydrazine and an oxime
with hydroxylamine. Reduction by sodium amalgam converts
it into isopropyl alcohol; oxidation by chromic acid
gives carbon dioxide and acetic acid. It reacts with
ammonia to form di- and triacetoneamines. It also unites
directly with hydrocyanic acid to form the nitrile of
By the action of various reagents, such as lime, caustic
potash, hydrochloric acid, etc., acetone is converted
into condensation products, mesityl oxide C6H10O, phorone
C9H14O, etc., being formed. On distillation with sulphuric
acid (H2SO4), it is converted into mesitylene C9H12
(symmetrical trimethyl benzene). Acetone has also been
used in the artificial production of indigo. In the
presence of iodine and an alkali it gives iodoform.
After inhaling acetone fumes or ingesting acetone, it
enters the blood, which then carries it to all the organs
in the body. If it is a small amount, the liver breaks
it down to chemicals that are not harmful and uses these
chemicals to make energy for normal body functions.
Breathing moderate- to-high levels of acetone for short
periods of time, however, can cause nose, throat, lung,
and eye irritation; headaches; light-headedness; confusion;
increased pulse rate; effects on blood; nausea; vomiting;
unconsciousness and possibly coma; and shortening of
the menstrual cycle in women.