What Are the Chemical and Physical Properties of Acetone?

Acetone is a colorless organic solvent with a molecular weight of 58.08, a boiling point of 56.29 C and a viscosity of 0.36 centipoises at 20 C. Acetone is volatile and flammable as well as being miscible with water. A third of the world's solvents are acetone-based, and the compound is widely used in products such as nail polish removers and paint thinners.

Acetone is a colorless liquid that possesses a distinct smell and taste. Used in the manufacturing of a variety of products, including plastics, fibers, medical drugs and other chemical compounds, acetone is toxic in high doses. Acetone is a polar aprotic solvent that is capable of producing a variety of organic chemical reactions. Cooling acetone with dry ice produces a liquid solution that is commonly used to conduct chemical reactions at low temperatures. Fluorescent under ultraviolet light, acetone vapor provides an effective tracer for fluid flow experiments.

Acetone has been produced since the Middle Ages, and some 6.7 million tonnes of the chemical were manufactured in 2010. Acetone is also a naturally occurring substance found in plants and trees. It is also created through normal metabolic processes and is found within the human body. Other names for acetone include dimethyl ketone, beta-ketopropane and 2-propanone.