Johny Kuang
Block: E

external image Acetone-displayed.png Acetone Formula:(CH3)2CO external image Acetone-3D-balls.png

How is it made?

Since acetone is such a dangerous material, it is handled very carefully. The most common way to make acetone is through a chemical process known as the Cumene Process, during which, the benzene is alkylated with propene, with the presence of phosphoric acid-based catalysts, or a zeolite catalyst material. At this process, the cumene is oxidized in it's liquid phase, to then become cumene hydro-peroxide. With the bond of sulphuric acid, this is turned into phenol and acetone. For every one tonne of phenol produced, about 0.62 tonnes of acetone is produced. This is the most commonly used way to produce acetone mainly because it is cheaper for the companies to do this.

How does this effect us?

There are many, many uses for acetone in our everyday lives. From simple things, like photographic films and plates casting, furniture finishes, or somethings more complicated, like for thinning fiberglass.

Roughly, 75% of acetone is used to produced other chemicals. 12% used as solvents, and the other 13 is used for other things. The largest use of acetone is acetone cyanohydrin (ACH), precursor of methyl methacrylate (MMA) and methacrylic acid. Most of the MMA produced is polymerized to make polymethyl methacrylates (PMMA). PMMA is commonly used for acrylic products, such as acrylic paints, while methacrylates are found in latex surface coatings.

Used as a solvent, acetone is ideal for thinning fiberglass, polyester resins, vinyl and adhesives. It is very useful for cleaning products, as it can be used as a heavy duty degreaser, and nail polish remover. Along the lines of cosmetics, acetone can commonly be found in products for skin rejuvenation, since it is associated with the process of chem-exfoliation.

Other interesting things...

Back to the point of acetone being a dangerous chemical, if a large amount of acetone were to be breathed in, irritation in the throat may be hazardous, leading to one's throat to close up. Eye irritation will also be a side effect of this. But, in an everyday normal amount of acetone breathed in, like, say, when someone is brushing the finish on wood, they would not show a huge sign of any abnormal chronic heath hazard, besides maybe a slight irritation. More serious cases can effect the central nervous system. If it was to have a huge effect on the eyes, it may potentially lead to pulmonary aspiration.

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