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Detailed Introduction of the Methyl Ethyl Ketone


1. Introduction to the methyl ethyl ketone


Methyl ethyl ketone is also called butanone, 2-butanone, ethyl methyl ketone and methyl acetone. Abbreviation: MEK. The molecular formula is C4H8O, the molecular weight is 72.1, the CAS number is 78-93-3, and the EINECS number is 201-159-0. Structural formula: CH3COCH2CH3. It is one of the types of compounds in organic chemistry.


2. The physical and chemical properties of methyl ethyl ketone


The MEK butanone is a colorless and transparent liquid with an odor similar to acetone. Relative density (20°C) is 0.805, freezing point is -86.7°C, boiling point is 79.6°C, refractive index is 1.3787, specific heat capacity is 2.297KJ/(kg.K), flash point is -1°C (open cup), -9°C (closed cup), ignition point is 516℃ and the viscosity (25°C) is 0.42mPa.s. It is soluble in water, and miscible with alcohol, ether, benzene, chloroform, and oils. The vapor pressure (20°C) is 9.49kPa. Its evaporation rate is 3.3 to 5.7 times that of butyl acetate. Its vapor density is 2.42 times that of air.

The methyl ethyl ketone is easily volatile and combustible. Its steam can combine with air to form an explosive mixture, and the explosion limit is 2.0% to 11.0% (volume fraction). It has a low toxicity, and the acute toxicity: LD50=3400mg/kg, LD50=6480mg/kg, LC5023520mg/m³.


3. The preparation method of methyl ethyl ketone


There are dozens of production methods of methyl ethyl ketone, mainly including n-butene method (sec-butanol method), n-butane liquid phase oxidation method, butadiene catalytic hydrolysis method, butene liquid phase oxidation method, isobutylbenzene method, isobutyraldehyde isomerization and fermentation methods. But there are only three industrialized MEK production methods: n-butene method, n-butane liquid-phase oxidation method and isobutylbenzene method. Among them, the two-step method of n-butene (first the hydration of n-butene to produce sec-butanol, and then the liquid-phase dehydrogenation of sec-butanol to produce methyl ethyl ketone) is the water method commonly used in the industrial production of methyl ethyl ketone at home and abroad. And the butane liquid-phase oxidation method is also used to produce acetic acid with the by-product of methyl ethyl ketone, which is also one of the industrial sources of methyl ethyl ketone; The liquid-phase oxidation of isobutyl benzene can produce isobutyl benzene hydrogen peroxide with the co-production of methyl ethyl ketone and phenol.


4. The uses and characteristics of methyl ethyl ketone


Methyl ethyl ketone is an industrial solvent with excellent performance. Its dissolving ability is equivalent to that of acetone, but it has the advantages of relatively high boiling point, low vapor pressure, fast volatilization rate, stability, and low toxicity. Methyl ethyl ketone is mainly used in polyurethane resin, PU leather and artificial leather, adhesives, coatings, lubricant dewaxing, printing inks, magnetic recording materials and other industries. Methyl ethyl ketone is also an important fine chemical raw material.


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