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.

Methyl ethyl ketone 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.

Table of Contents

Properties of Methyl Ethyl Ketone

Butanone is a colourless, volatile liquid and has a pleasant pungent smell. The flashpoint of Methyl ethyl ketone 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.

Methyl Ethyl Ketone C4H8O
Molecular Weight of Methyl Ethyl Ketone 72.107 g/mol
The 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 Methyl Ethyl Ketone

Structure of Butanone (Methyl Ethyl Ketone)

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 polymerization reactions.
  • It is used as a cleaning agent.
  • Methyl ethyl ketone is used in glues.
  • Butanone is used in the production of petroleum.

Production of Methyl Ethyl Ketone (Butanone)

Methyl ethyl ketone can be obtained by oxidising 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.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is methyl ethyl ketone used for?

Methyl ethyl ketone is a liquid solvent used in surface coatings, adhesives, inks for printing, chemical intermediates, magnetic tapes and dewaxing lube oil. Methyl ethyl ketone is also used as a tool for the extraction of fats, oils, waxes and resins. For surface coatings, it is a highly effective and flexible solvent.


Is methyl ethyl ketone the same as acetone?

Methyl ethyl ketone, also known as butanone and methyl ethyl ketone, is an acetone-related solvent since acetone is actually liquid ketone.


How is methyl ethyl ketone produced?

Methyl ethyl ketone is a herbal, colourless liquid with an odour similar to acetone. Methyl ethyl ketone is produced in the US using secondary butyl alcohol dehydrogenation (approximately 86%) and as a by-product of butane oxidation (remaining 14%).


Is Methyl ethyl ketone miscible with water?

Methyl ethyl ketone, MEK, a low-boiling, rapidly evaporating solution, is a methyl ethyl ketone, Methyl ethyl ketone, a low-boiling, rapidly evaporating, colourless, inert liquid, partially water-miscible.


What is Methyl ethyl ketone made of?

Butanone is an organic compound containing the formula CH3C(O)CH2CH3, also known as methyl ethyl ketone (Methyl ethyl ketone). This colourless liquid ketone has sharp, sweet butterscotch and acetone-reminiscent odour. It is industrially manufactured on a large scale, and also occurs in nature in trace quantities.

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

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