It is a colourless, volatile, flammable organic solvent which occurs naturally in trees, vehicle exhaust, plants and as a breakdown product of animal fat for metabolism. It has a sweetish (fruity) odour. The molecular formula for the compound is CH3-CO-CH3 or CH3COCH3 or C3H6O. Other names that identify the chemical are 2-propanone, dimethyl ketone, and beta ketopropane. It dissolves in water, is toxic in high doses, is the simplest ketone. Its vapours are denser than air and it has a flash point of 0 degrees Fahrenheit. It has a boiling point of 133 degrees Fahrenheit at 760mm Hg (NTP, 1992) and a melting point of 137 degrees Fahrenheit (NTP, 1992). Its solubility is greater than or equal to 100mg/ml at 72 degrees Fahrenheit (NTP, 1992).
Some of the areas of application of Acetone include:
1. It is applied in indirect refrigeration as a brine for low-temperature heat transfer.
2. It is used in cleaning and drying precision parts.
3. It is applied as a corrosion inhibitor in hydraulic fracturing.
4. It is applied as a solvent and as a reaction intermediate for the production of other compounds that are mainly used as solvents.
5. It is applied in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals and cosmetics as a solvent.
6. It is used to store acetylene safely in gas cylinders.
7. It is used in spinning cellulose acetate fibres.
8. It is used in the manufacture of smokeless powder.
9. It is applied in boat manufacturing as a washing solvent in fibreglass.
10. It is applied in the electronic industry as a cleaning solvent.
11. It is applied as a solvent in the degumming of silk and the degreasing of wool.
12. It is applied in the formulations of surface coatings and related thinners and washes.
13. It is applied as a solvent for printing inks.
14. It is used as a varnish (nail polish) remover.
15. It is applied in the purification of paraffin.
16. It is used to harden and dehydrate tissues for extraction of various principles from plant and animal substances.
17. In cleaning, it is used to dissolve hazardous chemical spills.
18. It is used in rubber cement.
19. It is applied as a solvent in plastics and other synthetic fibres.