Acetone, CAS 67-64-1 is the organic liquid compound with the formula (CH3)2CO. It is a colorless, volatile, flammable liquid, and is the simplest ketone. About one third of the world’s acetone is used as a solvent, and a quarter is consumed as acetone cyanohydrin, a precursor to methyl methacrylate.

Acetone is miscible with water and serves as an important solvent, particularly for laboratory cleaning purposes. About 6.7 million tons were produced worldwide in 2010, mainly for use as a solvent and production of methyl methacrylate and bisphenol A.

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Industrial Uses

  1. Adhesives and sealant chemicals
  2. Agricultural chemicals (non-pesticidal)
  3. Intermediates
  4. Ion exchange agents
  5. Laboratory chemicals
  6. Processing aids, not otherwise listed
  7. Processing aids, specific to petroleum production
  8. Solvents (for cleaning or degreasing)
  9. Solvents (which become part of product formulation or mixture)
  10. Viscosity adjustors

Consumer Uses

  1. Adhesives and Sealants
  2. Fabric, Textile, and Leather Products not covered elsewhere
  3. Paints and Coatings
  4. Personal Care Products
  5. Plastic and Rubber Products not covered elsewhere
  6. Toys, Playground, and Sporting Equipment


Molecular Weight 58.07914 g/mol
Molecular Formula C3H6O
XLogP3 -0.1
Hydrogen Bond Donor Count 0
Hydrogen Bond Acceptor Count 1
Rotatable Bond Count 0
Exact Mass 58.041865 g/mol
Monoisotopic Mass 58.041865 g/mol
Topological Polar Surface Area 17.1 A^2
Heavy Atom Count 4
Formal Charge 0
Complexity 26.3
Isotope Atom Count 0
Defined Atom Stereocenter Count 0
Undefined Atom Stereocenter Count 0
Defined Bond Stereocenter Count 0
Undefined Bond Stereocenter Count 0
Covalently-Bonded Unit Count 1


Nearly 90% of acetone production is via cumene. In this process, acetone is coproduced with phenol. The main production process involves the reaction of propylene and benzene in the presence of phosphoric acid-based or zeolite catalysts. Cumene is oxidized in the liquid phase to cumene hydroperoxide. It is then cleaved in the presence of sulfuric acid to phenol and acetone. Approximately 0.62 tons of acetone is produced with each ton of phenol.


According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), acetone is listed as a High Production Volume (HPV) (65FR81686). Chemicals listed as HPV were produced in or imported into the U.S. in 1 million pounds in 1990 and/or 1994. The HPV list is based on the 1990 Inventory Update Rule. (IUR) (40 CFR part 710 subpart B; 51FR21438).

EPA/Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics; High Production Volume (HPV) Challenge Program.

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