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2-Butanone structure
Chemical Name:
MEK;Meetco;Butanon;BUTANONE;Meketone;OMNISOLV;2-Butanon;2-butanal;FEMA 2170;C2H5COCH3
Molecular Formula:
Formula Weight:
MOL File:

2-Butanone Properties

Melting point:
-87 °C
Boiling point:
80 °C(lit.)
vapor density 
2.49 (vs air)
vapor pressure 
71 mm Hg ( 20 °C)
refractive index 
n20/D 1.379(lit.)
2170 | 2-BUTANONE
Flash point:
26 °F
storage temp. 
Sweet/sharp odor detectable at 2 to 85 ppm (mean = 16 ppm)
pH(1+4, 25℃):6.0~7.0
Relative polarity
explosive limit
Water Solubility 
290 g/L (20 ºC)
JECFA Number
Exposure limits
TLV-TWA, PEL 590 mg/m3 (200 ppm) (ACGIH, OSHA); STEL 885 mg/m3 (300 ppm) (ACGIH); IDLH 3000 ppm (NIOSH).
Stable. Highly flammable. Incompatible with oxidizing agents, bases, strong reducing agents. Protect from moisture.
CAS DataBase Reference
78-93-3(CAS DataBase Reference)
NIST Chemistry Reference
EPA Substance Registry System
  • Risk and Safety Statements
  • Hazard and Precautionary Statements (GHS)
  • NFPA
Hazard Codes  F,Xi,T
Risk Statements  11-36-66-67-39/23/24/25-23/24/25
Safety Statements  9-16-45-36/37
RIDADR  UN 1193 3/PG 2
WGK Germany  1
RTECS  EL6475000
Autoignition Temperature 516 °C
HazardClass  3
PackingGroup  II
HS Code  29141200
Hazardous Substances Data 78-93-3(Hazardous Substances Data)
Toxicity LD50 orally in rats: 6.86 ml/kg (Smyth)
Signal word: Danger
Hazard statements:
Code Hazard statements Hazard class Category Signal word Pictogram P-Codes
H225 Highly Flammable liquid and vapour Flammable liquids Category 2 Danger P210,P233, P240, P241, P242, P243,P280, P303+ P361+P353, P370+P378,P403+P235, P501
H319 Causes serious eye irritation Serious eye damage/eye irritation Category 2A Warning P264, P280, P305+P351+P338,P337+P313P
H336 May cause drowsiness or dizziness Specific target organ toxicity,single exposure; Narcotic effects Category 3 Warning P261, P271, P304+P340, P312,P403+P233, P405, P501
Precautionary statements:
P210 Keep away from heat/sparks/open flames/hot surfaces. — No smoking.
P261 Avoid breathing dust/fume/gas/mist/vapours/spray.
P303+P361+P353 IF ON SKIN (or hair): Remove/Take off Immediately all contaminated clothing. Rinse SKIN with water/shower.
P305+P351+P338 IF IN EYES: Rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Remove contact lenses, if present and easy to do. Continuerinsing.
P405 Store locked up.

NFPA 704

Diamond Hazard Value Description
1 0
Health   1 Exposure would cause irritation with only minor residual injury (e.g. acetone, sodium bromate, potassium chloride)
Flammability   3 Liquids and solids (including finely divided suspended solids) that can be ignited under almost all ambient temperature conditions . Liquids having a flash point below 22.8 °C (73 °F) and having a boiling point at or above 37.8 °C (100 °F) or having a flash point between 22.8 and 37.8 °C (73 and 100 °F). (e.g. gasoline, acetone)
Instability   0 Normally stable, even under fire exposure conditions, and is not reactive with water (e.g. helium,N2)

(NFPA, 2010)

2-Butanone price

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2-Butanone Chemical Properties,Uses,Production


2-Butanone is a stable, highly flammable chemical. It is incompatible with oxidising agents, bases, and strong reducing agents. It is a colourless liquid with a sharp, sweet odour. 2-Butanone is produced in large quantities. It is used as a solvent and nearly half of its use is in paints and other coatings because it will quickly evaporate into the air and it dissolves many substances. It is also used in glues and as a cleaning agent.

Chemical Properties

colourless liquid

Chemical Properties

2-Butanone is a stable, highly flammable chemical. It is incompatible with oxidizing agents, bases, and strong reducing agents. It is a colorless liquid with a sharp, sweet odor. 2-Butanone is produced in large quantities. It is used as a solvent and nearly half of its use is in paints and other coatings because it quickly evaporates into the air and it dissolves many substances. It is also used in glues and as a cleaning agent.

Chemical Properties

MEK is a clear, colorless liquid. Fragrant, mint-like, moderately sharp odor.


As solvent; in the surface coating industry; manufacture of smokeless powder; colorless synthetic resins.


2-Butanone is an eye irritant that has been used as a water soluble photoinitiator for the photopolymerization of methacrylic acid (MAA).


Methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) is used in themanufacture of smokeless powder and colorless synthetic resins, as a solvent, and insurface coating. It is also used as a flavoringsubstance in food.


A colorless volatile liquid ketone. It is manufactured by the oxidation of butane and used as a solvent.


ChEBI: A dialkyl ketone that is a four-carbon ketone carrying a single keto- group at position C-2.

General Description

Methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) is a colourless liquid with a sweet and sharp odour. It is soluble in alcohol, ether, acetone benzene, and water. It is a solvent often found in mixtures with acetone, ethyl acetate, n-hexane, toluene, or alcohols. It has applications in the surface coating industry and in the de-waxing of lubricating oils. MEK is used in the manufacture of colourless synthetic resins, artificial leather, rubbers, lacquers, varnishes, and glues.

Air & Water Reactions

Highly flammable. Slightly soluble in water.

Reactivity Profile

Amines are chemical bases. They neutralize acids to form salts plus water. These acid-base reactions are exothermic. The amount of heat that is evolved per mole of amine in a neutralization is largely independent of the strength of the amine as a base. Amines may be incompatible with isocyanates, halogenated organics, peroxides, phenols (acidic), epoxides, anhydrides, and acid halides. Flammable gaseous hydrogen is generated by amines in combination with strong reducing agents, such as hydrides. Ketones are reactive with many acids and bases liberating heat and flammable gases (e.g., H2). The amount of heat may be sufficient to start a fire in the unreacted portion of the ketone. Ketones react with reducing agents such as hydrides, alkali metals, and nitrides to produce flammable gas (H2) and heat. Ketones are incompatible with isocyanates, aldehydes, cyanides, peroxides, and anhydrides. They react violently with aldehydes, HNO3, HNO3 + H2O2, and HClO4.


Flammable, dangerous fire risk. Toxic by ingestion.

Health Hazard

May cause toxic effects if inhaled or ingested/swallowed. Contact with substance may cause severe burns to skin and eyes. Fire will produce irritating, corrosive and/or toxic gases. Vapors may cause dizziness or suffocation. Runoff from fire control or dilution water may cause pollution.

Health Hazard

Occupational workers are exposed to 2-butanone by breathing contaminated air in workplaces associated with the production or use of paints, glues, coatings, or cleaning agents. Prolonged exposures to 2-butanone cause symptoms of poisoning such as cough, dizziness, drowsiness, headache, nausea, vomiting, dermatitis, irritation of the nose, throat, skin, and eyes and at very high levels cause drooping eyelids, uncoordinated muscle movements, loss of consciousness, and birth defects. Chronic inhalation studies in animals have reported slight neurological, liver, kidney, and respiratory effects. However, information on the chronic (long-term) effects of 2-butanone (methyl ethyl ketone) in humans is limited.

Health Hazard

Inhalation of MEK can cause irritation ofthe eyes and nose and headache. Exposureto 300 ppm for several hours may have amildly irritating effect on humans. At highconcentrations it is narcotic. Ingestion cancause dizziness and vomiting. Serious illeffects from poisoning is low.
LD50 value, oral (rats): 5500 mg/kg
Odor threshold detection: 10 ppm.

Health Hazard

The acute toxicity of methyl ethyl ketone is low. Exposure to high concentrations can cause headache, dizziness, drowsiness, vomiting, and numbness of the extremities. Irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat can also occur. Methyl ethyl ketone is considered to have adequate warning properties.
Repeated or prolonged skin exposure to methyl ethyl ketone can cause defatting of the skin, leading to cracking, secondary infection, and dermatitis. This compound has not been found to be carcinogenic or to show reproductive or developmental toxicity in humans. Methyl ethyl ketone has exhibited developmental toxicity in some animal tests

Fire Hazard

Flash Point (°F): 20 ℃; 22 ℃; Flammable Limits in Air (%): 1.8-11.5; Fire Extinguishing Agents: Alcohol foam dry chemical, carbon dioxide; Fire Extinguishing Agents Not To Be Used: Water may be ineffective; Special Hazards of Combustion Products: Not pertinent; Behavior in Fire: Not pertinent; Ignition Temperature (°F): 961; Electrical Hazard: Class I, Group D; Burning Rate: 4.1 mm/min.

Fire Hazard

Methyl ethyl ketone is extremely flammable (NFPA rating = 3), and its vapor can travel a considerable distance to an ignition source and "flash back." MEK vapor forms explosive mixtures with air at concentrations of 1.9 to 11% (by volume). Carbon dioxide or dry chemical extinguishers should be used for MEK fires

Fire Hazard

Flammable/combustible material. May be ignited by heat, sparks or flames. Vapors may form explosive mixtures with air. Vapors may travel to source of ignition and flash back. Most vapors are heavier than air. They will spread along ground and collect in low or confined areas (sewers, basements, tanks). Vapor explosion hazard indoors, outdoors or in sewers. Runoff to sewer may create fire or explosion hazard. Containers may explode when heated. Many liquids are lighter than water.

Flammability and Explosibility

Methyl ethyl ketone is extremely flammable (NFPA rating = 3), and its vapor can travel a considerable distance to an ignition source and "flash back." MEK vapor forms explosive mixtures with air at concentrations of 1.9 to 11% (by volume). Carbon dioxide or dry chemical extinguishers should be used for MEK fires.

Chemical Reactivity

Reactivity with Water No reaction; Reactivity with Common Materials: No reaction; Stability During Transport: Stable; Neutralizing Agents for Acids and Caustics: Not pertinent; Polymerization: Not pertinent; Inhibitor of Polymerization: Not pertinent.

Safety Profile

Moderately toxic by ingestion, skin contact, and intraperitoneal routes. Human systemic effects by inhalation: conjunctiva irritation and unspecified effects on the nose and respiratory system. An experimental teratogen. A strong irritant. Human eye irritation @ 350 ppm. Affects peripheral nervous system and central nervous system. Highly flammable liquid. Reaction with hydrogen peroxide + nitric acid forms a heatand shock-sensitive explosive product. Ignition on contact with potassium tert-butoxide. Mixture with 2- propanol will produce explosive peroxides during storage. Vigorous reaction with chloroform + alkali. Incompatible with chlorosulfonic acid, oleum. To fight fire, use alcohol foam, CO2, dry chemical. Used in production of drugs of abuse. When heated to decomposition it emits acrid smoke and fumes.

Potential Exposure

MEK is used as a solvent in nitrocellulose coating and vinyl film manufacture; in smokeless powder manufacture; in cements and adhesives and in the dewaxing of lubricating oils. It is also an intermediate in drug manufacture

First aid

If this chemical gets into the eyes, remove any contact lenses at once and irrigate immediately for at least 15 minutes, occasionally lifting upper and lower lids. Seek medical attention immediately. If this chemical contacts the skin, remove contaminated clothing and wash immediately with soap and water. Seek medical attention immediately. If this chemical has been inhaled, remove from exposure, begin rescue breathing (using universal precautions, including resuscitation mask) if breathing has stopped and CPR if heart action has stopped. Transfer promptly to a medical facility. When this chemical has been swallowed, get medical attention. Give large quantities of water and induce vomiting. Do not make an unconscious person vomit.


2-Butanone should be protected from moisture.


UN1193 Methyl ethyl ketone or Ethyl methyl ketone, Hazard Class: 3; Labels: 3-Flammable liquid.


May form explosive mixture with air. Violent reaction with strong oxidizers, amines, ammonia, inorganic acids; caustics, isocyanates, pyridines. Incompatible with potassium tert-butoxide, 2-propanol, chlorosulfonic acid; oleum. Attacks some plastics. Ketones are incompatible with oxidizers (chlorates, nitrates, peroxides, permanganates, perchlorates, chlorine, bromine, fluorine, etc.); contact may cause fires or explosions. Keep away from alkaline materials, strong bases, strong acids, oxoacids, epoxides, nitrated amines, azo, diazo, azido compounds, carbamates, organic cyanates

Waste Disposal

Consult with environmental regulatory agencies for guidance on acceptable disposal practices. Generators of waste containing this contaminant (≥100 kg/mo) must conform to EPA regulations governing storage, transportation, treatment, and waste disposal. Incineration


2-Butanone vapor and air mixtures are explosive. It reacts violently with strong oxidants and inorganic acids causing fi re and explosion hazard.

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Raw materials

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