Methyl Ethyl Ketone - C4H8O

What is Methyl Ethyl Ketone (Butanone)?

Methyl Ethyl Ketone is an organic compound which is also known as Butanone or Methylacetone. It is a dialkyl ketone which consists of 4 carbon ketone that carries a single keto group at the C-2 position. It acts as a bacterial metabolite and polar aprotic solvent.

Properties of Methyl Ethyl Ketone

Butanone is a colourless, volatile liquid and has a pleasant pungent smell. The flash point of MEK is 20°F. The vapours formed are heavier than air. It dissolves in water. It is obtained as a natural product. It is present in some vegetables and fruits in small quantities. Also, it is released from truck and car exhausts.

Properties of Butanone

Methyl Ethyl Ketone C4H8O
Molecular Weight of Methyl Ethyl Ketone 72.107 g/mol
Density of Methyl Ethyl Ketone 0.8050 g/mL
Boiling Point of Methyl Ethyl Ketone 79.64 °C
Melting Point of Methyl Ethyl Ketone −86 °C

Structure Of Butanone (Methyl Ethyl Ketone)

Structure Of Butanone

Uses Of Methyl Ethyl Ketone (C4H8O)

  • Methyl Ethyl Ketone is used as a plastic welding agent because it has the ability to dissolve polystyrene and various other plastics.
  • It is used in the production of varnishes, and paraffin wax.
  • It acts as a precursor in the polymerization reactions.
  • It is used as a cleaning agent.
  • MEK is used in glues.
  • Butanone is used in the production of petroleum.

Production of MEK (Butanone)

MEK can be obtained by oxidizing 2-butanol. Dehydrogenation of 2-butanol in the presence of a catalyst such as copper, bronze, or zinc.

Effects on Health

Irritates the eyes, throat, and nose. Combustion of this compound may produce some toxic materials.

Learn more about the chemical behaviour and importance of Methyl Ethyl Ketone (C4H8O) from the expert faculties at BYJU’S.

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