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What is the chemical formula of acetone?

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Quick Answer

The empiric formula of acetone is C3H6O. Acetone is the simplest of the ketones, consisting of two methyl groups attached to a carbonyl group (C=O). Ketones are organic compounds with the general formula RC=OR'.

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Acetone has a pungent, fruity odor; it is a common ingredient in nail polish remover. In the laboratory, acetone is used as a polar aprotic solvent. Like water, acetone is a polar molecule; however, the similarity ends there. Unlike water, acetone cannot form hydrogen bonds with other acetone molecules. Even though the molecular weight of acetone is 58 grams per mole, compared to 18 grams per mole for water, acetone boils at 132.8 degrees Fahrenheit whereas water boils at 212 Fahrenheit.

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