Ketones are a very diverse group and contain a large number of disconnected substances like sugars, pheromones, polymers and solvents. Acetone(sometimes also called as 2-Propanone or dimethylketal) is a volatile organic compound (VOC) that is considered to have low toxicity, though improper use of it can cause serious problems. There are a number of uses for this chemical, including in chemicals, solvents and nail polish remover.
It is a colorless liquid that both evaporates and auto-combusts at relatively low temperatures. It is heavier than air, so the vapor will move along surfaces rather than float. This makes it especially dangerous as the vapor can move to an ignition source and travel back to the liquid.
The chemistry of acetone seems a lot more complex than it actually is. The center of the substance is a carbonyl group; this is simply a carbon and oxygen atom that are double joined with one another. Next, the carbonyl group is bonded to two CH3 molecules, which means a molecule comprised of one carbon and three hydrogen atoms. This simple construction gives it a wide range of properties and makes it easy to transform into other materials.
When the liquid is used as a solvent, it means the role is to dissolve some other chemical or chemicals. Hazardous or dangerous spills of oil, gas or paint can be dissolved with a solvent such as acetone. Electricians may use it as a degreaser. Chemical laboratories may use this compound to clean glass containers and utensils. The pharmaceutical industry relies heavily on the uses of it as a solvent in the formulation of new drugs.
Formulation and production of other chemicals can account for up to 75 percent of all uses of acetone(No. 67-64-1). It is used in the manufacture of methyl methacrylate (MMA) and bisphenol-A (BPA). Additionally, acetone cyanohydrin is formulated with the substance and aids in the production of MMA and methacrylic acid.
Beyond chemicals and solvents, other uses for acetone exist in the production of cosmetics and household and personal care products. Nail polish remover may be the most commonly known use as a cosmetic product. Household cleaning solutions, rubber cement and de-gumming agents typically include an acetone component.