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.
Learn more about this molecule from CAS, the most authoritative and comprehensive source for chemical information.