The structural formula of butanone has a roughly camel-like shape, with the hydrogen atoms being the feet, tail, nose and ears, the four carbon atoms being the main body, and the single oxygen atom being the hump of the camel. In condensed formula, it is CH3COCH2CH3.
Butanone is also known as methyl ethyl ketone, part of a group of compounds called ketones. It comes in the form of a colorless liquid possessing a sharp yet sweet scent somewhere between that of butterscotch and acetone. The chemical is useful as a component in a wide variety of more complex mixtures, such as cleaning agents, paint removers or glues.
Butanone has a chemical makeup that is responsible for both its usefulness as a solvent and its volatility. Due to the oxygen atom found in the compound, it reacts with many oxidizing materials to the point that it can cause combustion just from accidental mixing. The smallest flame or spark can create an explosive reaction, meaning great care must be taken when using this compound. This comes from the easy trading of the oxygen atom in the compound with other chemicals, creating rapid oxidation.
Butanone is found in the natural biological processes of some trees and smaller plants, and can also be found in some fruit and vegetable varieties in trace amounts.