What is Acetone?

Acetone is a universal colorless, volatile, flammable organic solvent with the chemical formula (CH3)2CO. Also known as propanone or dimethyl ketone, it is the smallest and simplest ketone.

Acetone is regularly used for cleaning in households, commercial operations, and laboratories. Moreover, it is an industrial solvent.

Sigma Aldrich Acetone Lewis Structure


Acetone is an excellent solvent because it can dissolve other substances. Given that it is miscible and polar, it can work with products ranging from water to different organic compounds. Because of this polarity, acetone can mingle with polar solvents like water.

Acetone is produced naturally in plants and as a product of the animal metabolism. In the human body, it is present in urine and blood at low levels.

As a leading supplier of high-purity solvents, we offer the right product for your application whether it calls for HPLC acetone, ACS acetone, or one of the other grades.

Acetone Formulas and Structures

Acetone consists of a carbon double-bonded to oxygen as well as to other carbon and hydrogen atoms

Type Formula or Structure
Acetone Molecular Formulas C3H6O, CH3-CO-CH3, CH3COCH3, (CH3)2CO
Acetone Ball and Sticks Structural Model Sigma Aldrich Acetone Ball-Stick Model
Acetone Sticks Structural Model Sigma Aldrich Acetone Stick Model
Acetone Skeletal Structural Model Sigma Aldrich Acetone Wire-Frame Model
Acetone Space-Filling Structural Model Sigma Aldrich Acetone Space-Filling Model

Acetone Identification

Chart listing the various names, identifiers and synonyms of acetone.

ID Type Identification
CAS Number 67-64-1
Beilstein Registry
EG/EC Number 2006622
MDL Number MFCD00008765
RIDADR UN 1090 3/PG 2

Acetone Physical and Chemical Properties

Chart including the physical and chemical properties of acetone. (Source: Merck Index, Pubchem)

Property Value
Molecular Weight 58.08
Density 0.791 g/mL at 25 ºC
Boiling Point 56 ºC
Melting Point - 94 ºC
Flash Point -17.2 ºC
Viscosity (cP)
0.306 at 25 ºC
Dielectric Constant 21.01 at 20 ºC
Dipole Moment 2.880
UV cutoff 330 nm
Refractive Index 1.359 at 20 ºC
Vapor Pressure 184 mm Hg (20 °C)
Vapor Density 2 (vs. air)
Water Solubility 17.22 M 
Heat of Combustion Liquid: -1789 kJ/mol 
Heat of Fusion 5.77 kJ/mol 
Heat of Vaporization 29.10 kJ/mol at 56.05 ºC; 30.99 kJ/mol at 25 ºC
Dissociation Constants pKa = 20 
Surface Tension 0 ºC: 26.2 mN/m; 20 ºC: 23.7 mN/m; 40 ºC: 21.2 mN/m

Acetone Miscibility and Immiscibility

Property Chemical
Miscible with Acetic Acid, Acetone, Acetonitrile, Benzene, Butanol, Methyl ethyl ketone (MEK), Butyl Acetate (n-), methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE), Carbon Tetrachloride, Chloroform, Cyclohexane, Dichloroethane (1,2-), Dichloromethane, Diethyl ether, Diisopropyl ether, Dimethylformamide, Dimethyl Sulfoxide (DMSO), Dioxane, Ethanol, Ethyl Acetate, Heptane, Hexane, Methanol, Pentane, 1-Propanol, Isopropanol, Tetrahydrofuran (THF), Toluene, Trichloroethylene, Isooctane, Water, Xylene
Immiscible with ---
Miscibility Information and Solvent Miscibility Table


acetone miscibility and immiscibility chart
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Acetone Uses

Acetone has many uses:

  • As a solvent on fats, oils, waxes, resins, rubber, plastics, lacquers, varnishes, and rubber cements.
  • As a reagent in organic synthesis for the manufacturing of coatings, plastics, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics.
  • To produce methyl isobutyl ketone, mesityl oxide, acetic acid (ketene process), diacetone alcohol, bisphenol A, methyl methacrylate, explosives, rayon, photographic films, and isoprene.
  • For the extraction of various principles from animal and plant substances; in paint and varnish removers; purifying paraffin; and for hardening and dehydrating tissues.
  • In glassware cleaning, pharmaceutic (solvent,) and analyses, including liquid chromatography.

Some examples of these common uses are:

As a solvent, in the Jones oxidation reaction, which is the respective oxidation process of primary and secondary alcohols to acids and ketones. The reaction proceeds in the presence of chromic acid, aqueous sulfuric acid, and acetone.


Sigma Aldrich Acetone Jones Oxidation


As a reagent in the Baeyer-Drewson Indigo synthesis reaction during which the formation of indigos proceeds by an Aldol reaction, q.v., of o-nitrobenzaldehydes to acetone, pyruvic acid, or acetaldehyde.


Sigma Aldrich Acetone Jones Oxidation


Acetone Hazard Statements

Hazard Statements H225-H319-H336
Signal Word Danger
P210-P280-P304 + P340 + P312-P305 + P351 + P338-P337 + P313-P403 + P235

GHS Information

GHS Pictogram Statement

Flammable gases, category 1
Flammable aerosols, categories 1,2
Flammable liquids, categories 1,2,3
Flammable solids, categories 1,2
Self-reactive substances and mixtures, Types B,C,D,E,F
Pyrophoric liquids, category 1
Pyrophoric solids, category 1
Self-heating substances and mixtures, categories 1,2
Substances and mixtures, which in contact with water,
emit flammable gases, categories 1,2,3
Organic peroxides, Types B,C,D,E,F
Acute toxicity (oral, dermal, inhalation), category 4
Skin irritation, category 2
Eye irritation, category 2
Skin sensitisation, category 1
Specific Target Organ Toxicity – Single exposure, category 3

Acetone SDS Information

An SDS (Safety Data Sheet) is available for each acetone product. Start your search for an SDS.

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How to Manipulate Acetone

Acetone is a substance that penetrates or dissolves some glove materials, resulting in leaks that contact the skin. Thus, choosing proper gloves guarantees the best protection for the skin.

Selecting Proper Gloves to Handle Acetone

Gloves for handing liquid solvents like acetone have a permeation factor, meaning the solvent slowly leaks through the glove to the skin.

New gloves will offer the best protection, but protection decreases over time. The first step shoul be to check the chemical resistance time on the glove package to understand how many times that glove can be used to handle acetone.

The glove's density and its reaction to chemical and external temperatures should also be considered.

The Best and the Worst Gloves to Protect the Skin from Acetone Contact

The best type of gloves to handle acetone are made of butyl rubber . This material has higher chemical resistance to acetone, making it ideal to safety manipulate acetone.

Gloves made of nitrile and organic compounds are the worst for hanling acetone. This kind of material does not have chemical resistance to acetone. Acetone reacts with this material and renders the gloves unsafe within minutes. Even neoprene gloves that have some chemical resistance to acetone are not as safe as butyl rubber gloves.