Acetone is also known as dimethyl ketone, propan-2-one. Acetone is a colorless, pleasant-smelling liquid, b.p. 56oC, miscible with water, ethanol and ether in all proportions.

Preparation of Acetone

Acetone is prepared industrially:

1. By the catalytic dehydrogenation (Cu or ZnO) or catalytic oxidation (Ag) of isopropanal.

2. by passing a mixture of propene and oxygen, under pressure, into an aqueous solution of palladium and cupric chlorides (cf. acetaldehyde).

3. Acetone is also manufactured by the oxidation of natural gas, and is obtained as a by-product in the oxidation of cumene to phenol.

Although acetone does not exist as a hydrate in water, it nevertheless undergoes reversible hydration. On the other hand, Wilson et al. (1963) gave shown that acetone hydrate exists in the solid state.

Ketones do not polymerise, but readily undergo condensation reactions. Acetone readily forms mesityl oxide, phorone and diacetone alcohol, but in addition to these condensations, acetone forms mesitylene when distilled with concentrated sulphuric acid.

Use of Acetone

Acetone is used as a solvent for acetylene, cellulose acetate and nitrate, celluloid, lacquers, etc, and for the preparation of keten, sulphonal etc.