What is acetone?

What is acetone? At first glance, this question seems simple. Acetone is an organic solvent. But what exactly is behind acetone, how does it react and what should be considered? To all these questions, including what acetone is, we provide answers below.

Basically to acetone

To get closer to the answer, which is acetone, first of all very basic properties to the organic solvent. It was first discovered in 1606. However, the really great age of acetone was to start much later, with the invention of acrylic glass in the first half of the 20th century.

The production of acrylic and acrylic glass with acetone

For the production of PMMA, polymethylene methacrylate or "acrylic" for short, it is an important substance in the course of the manufacturing process. The production of acetone can be done differently. However, it should not be forgotten that acetone also occurs in nature. It is contained in raspberries as raspberry acetone. It gives the berries their typical smell.

Acetone in nature and in the human body

The human body is also able to produce acetone in exceptional situations (certain disease processes). Even the body can metabolize the solvent in small quantities. That says a lot about the toxicity of acetone. But at least how little carcinogenic acetone is, though this rumor persists.

But what is acetone exactly?

What exactly acetone is likely to be difficult to understand or to classify for most people without basic chemical knowledge. Acetone is the simplest of all ketones. In turn, ketones can be described as the oxidation product of secondary alcohols. The ketones give acetone one of its most striking features: ketones are water-soluble and therefore acetone is also water-soluble.

The disposal of acetone

Nevertheless, the disposal of acetone should take place via appropriate collection points and in suitable containers. When acetone enters the water, it is soluble and readily biodegradable. But at first it is a burden. After all, humans also react to the vapors of acetone.

Influences of acetone on the body when inhaled

These can cause dizziness, but lead to unconsciousness. In the electrical industry, in addition to painters and painters, acetone is often used as a degreasing and de-oiling agent. In the electrical industry before soldering on circuit boards, in painters on a substrate before priming or painting. The skin is also degreased by acetone, which is dangerous.

Acetone and plastics

However, caution should be exercised when using acetone. Neither is the organic solvent compatible with all plastics, nor with all metals. Polystyrene (colloquially known under the brand name "Styrofoam" or "Styrodur") completely dissolves acetone. On copper it can lead to pitting. On the other hand, it is also used for bonding certain plastics.

Acetone as a nail polish remover

Even women should be well-known acetone, because acetone is also an important component in many nail polish removers. Here is the same effect that is used to abzzubizen certain paints, colors and resins. What is acetone is therefore not so easy to understand without basic chemical knowledge, without going deeper into the chemistry.

However, the use of acetone, natural abundance, water solubility, biodegradability, and many other properties illustrate how diverse the organic solvent acetone is. It is much easier to explain than what acetone is used for.

Tips & Tricks

If you are more interested in the production of acetone, you will find comprehensive information here.

Video Board: Chemical of the Day: Acetone