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The chemical properties of acetone allow it to be used in many industries (mainly as a solvent). Acetone has the following formula — C₃H₆O, a substance of organic origin, is an elemental representative of saturated ketones. It looks like a colorless liquid. Many people know what the smell of acetone is, for those who do not know, we inform you that the smell of acetone is sharp, but it can be addictive. It can be mixed in any proportion with water, diethyl alcohol and other ether compounds.

Features of acetone production

Acetone can be obtained by different methods:

  • Cumene method — first, benzene is alkylated with propene to form cumene, then cumene is oxidized with air to form hydroperoxide, which decomposes when sulfuric acid is added to phenol and acetone;


  • From isopropanol — the base composition, in the form of steam, is oxidized under conditions from +450 to +650 ° C on a catalyst where acetone appears;
  • From propene, the liquid base is oxidized with the addition of PdCl2 and solutions of Pd, Cu, Fe salts under conditions from +50 to 120 ° C at a pressure of 50-100 atm. As a result we have acetone.

Chemical properties

The chemical properties of acetone are as follows:

  • It can be reduced by adding hydrogen;
  • Forms diacetone alcohol during aldol self-condensation in an alkaline medium;
  • Forms a pinacon when reduced with zinc;
  • When reacted with sodium hydrosulfite, acetone is capable of forming a bisulfite compound;
  • Converts to ketene and methane during pyrolysis at temperatures from 500 ° C;
  • Reacts with hydrogen cyanide to form acetonecyanohydrin;
  • Converts to chloroform (iodoform) when exposed to chlorine (iodine) in an alkaline environment;
  • Forms acetone cyanohydrin by reaction with hydrocyanic acid.

The use of acetone

The use of acetone in industry is important for the production of various chemical products, for example, acetic anhydride, diacetone alcohol, methyl methacrylate, etc. Raw materials are widely used to obtain polycarbonates, polyurethanes, epoxy resins and for other purposes.

The dissolving qualities of technical acetone make it possible to use it in the production of paints and varnishes, methyl methacrylate and bisphenol A, in pharmacology, in the production of fiberglass and chemical fibers (for degreasing surfaces), in the manufacture of compositions for cleaning various surfaces and in many other areas. Also used to store acetylene in cylinders.

In laboratories, it is used in alkylation reactions, in the oxidation of alcohols. When mixed with dry ice and liquid ammonia, it is used to create cooling baths. The substance is readily soluble in water, therefore it is actively used for washing chemical dishes.

Metabolism and toxicology

A small amount of acetone is found in the human body (used for metabolic processes). Its excretion from the body is carried out in three ways: by exhaling air, through the sweat glands and urine. In case of metabolic disorders in the body, more acetone is formed and excreted, for example, in diabetes mellitus.


The substance is toxic (hazard class IV, low-hazard product). Leads to irritation of the mucous membranes, inflammation when inhaled in high concentrations. Also, acetone is characterized by a narcotic effect (causes a state of intoxication).

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