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FEMA 2170
2-butanone (MEK
2-butanone (MEK)
Acetone, methyl-
Molecular Formula
MDL Number
Molecular Weight
MOL File

Chemical Properties

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.
colourless liquid
MEK is a clear, colorless liquid. Fragrant, mint-like, moderately sharp odor.
-87 °C
80 °C(lit.)

vapor density 
2.49 (vs air)

vapor pressure 
71 mm Hg ( 20 °C)

refractive index 
n20/D 1.379(lit.)

26 °F

storage temp. 
Stable. Highly flammable. Incompatible with oxidizing agents, bases, strong reducing agents. Protect from moisture.
Water Solubility 
290 g/L (20 ºC)
CAS DataBase Reference
78-93-3(CAS DataBase Reference)
NIST Chemistry Reference
EPA Substance Registry System
78-93-3(EPA Substance)

Hazard Information

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.
General Description
A light-yellow colored liquid with a pleasant odor. Less dense than water. Flash point below 141°F. Contact may irritate or cause burns.
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.
Air & Water Reactions
Highly flammable. Slightly soluble in water.
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.
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
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.
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.
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

Safety Data

Hazard Codes 
Risk Statements 
R11:Highly Flammable.
R36:Irritating to the eyes.
R66:Repeated exposure may cause skin dryness or cracking.
R67:Vapors may cause drowsiness and dizziness.
R39/23/24/25:Toxic: danger of very serious irreversible effects through inhalation, in contact with skin and if swallowed .
R23/24/25:Toxic by inhalation, in contact with skin and if swallowed .
Safety Statements 
S9:Keep container in a well-ventilated place .
S16:Keep away from sources of ignition-No smoking .
S45:In case of accident or if you feel unwell, seek medical advice immediately (show label where possible) .
S36/37:Wear suitable protective clothing and gloves .
UN 1193 3/PG 2

WGK Germany 


HS Code 
2-Butanone should be protected from moisture.
2-Butanone vapor and air mixtures are explosive. It reacts violently with strong oxidants and inorganic acids causing fi re and explosion hazard.
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.
Hazardous Substances Data
78-93-3(Hazardous Substances Data)

Raw materials And Preparation Products

Raw materials
Methanol-->Hydrogen peroxide-->Zinc oxide -->Palladium chloride-->SULFATE STANDARD-->N-BUTANE-->Isobutylbenzene-->1-BUTENE-->sec-Butanol-->Copper chromite -->CUPRIC CHLORIDE SOLUTION-->COPPER ALLOYS SET OF 5 DISCS (35 MM DIAM., 2 MM THICKNESS)-->ZINC-COPPER COUPLE-->Dehydrogenation catalyst
Preparation Products
2-PHENOXYACETAMIDINE HYDROCHLORIDE-->Alizapride-->3-Methylbenzofuran-2-carboxylic acid-->Benzofuran-2-carboxylic acid-->TERT-BUTYL 4-(AMINOMETHYL)PYRIDIN-2-YLCARBAMATE-->3-AMINO-5,6-DIMETHYL-3H-THIENO[2,3-D]PYRIMIDIN-4-ONE-->optical diskbase material modified PMMA copolymer-->2-Butanone peroxide-->1-(3-AMINO-BENZOFURAN-2-YL)-ETHANONE-->2-BENZOFURANCARBOXYLIC ACID, ETHYL ESTER-->5-METHOXYBENZOFURAN-2-BORONIC ACID-->(5,6-DIMETHYL-THIENO[2,3-D]PYRIMIDIN-4-YL)-HYDRAZINE-->2-IODO-ISONICOTINIC ACID-->(2-TERT-BUTOXYFORMAMIDO-PYRIDIN-4-YL)METHYL METHANESULFONATE-->3',4'-(DIOCTYLOXY)BENZALDEHYDE-->DL-Isoleucine-->Prothiofos-->Coumaphos-->SEC-BUTYLAMINE-->Industrial gear oil-->Saquinavir-->Dimethylglyoxime-->4-CHLORO-5,6-DIMETHYLTHIENO[2,3-D]PYRIMIDINE-->2,3-Pentanedione-->Industrial gear oil,weight load-->Xanthophyll-->5,6-DIMETHYLTHIENO[2,3-D]PYRIMIDIN-4(3H)-ONE-->TERT-BUTYL 4-(HYDROXYMETHYL)PYRIDIN-2-YLCARBAMATE-->ETHYL 2-AMINO-4,5-DIMETHYLTHIOPHENE-3-CARBOXYLATE-->ASTRAZON PINK FG-->Industrial gear oil,middle load-->2-(AMINOCARBONYL)NICOTINIC ACID-->2-AMINO-4,5-DIMETHYL-THIOPHENE-3-CARBONITRILE-->sec-Butylamine-->Mivacurium chloride-->Benomyl-->2,3-Butanedione monoxime-->Carboxymethoxylamine hemihydrochloride-->3-Methyl-1-pentyn-3-ol-->2,3-Dimethylindole

Material Safety Data Sheet(MSDS)

msds information

Spectrum Detail

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