December 02, 2014
Image of Butanone 3D Image of Butanone

Butanone—known to many chemists as methyl ethyl ketone or MEK—is a solvent that has long been used in laboratories and industrial settings. Its properties are similar to those of acetone, but it boils at a higher temperature and evaporates more slowly.

Butanone has many common applications, such as

  • In household products, as a solvent for lacquer and other coatings and as a paint remover;
  • in industry, in textile, plastic, and wax manufacture; and
  • in the lab, as a cleaning and degreasing agent.

Like most organic solvents, butanone is extremely flammable and somewhat toxic. It should be handled in well-ventilated areas away from heat and flames.

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