How Does Acetone React with Water?

How Does Acetone React with Water?

Acetone is a polar, non-toxic, colorless, organic solvent that is found in many household and industrial products.  Nail polish remover, paint remover, degreasers, and varnishes are just a few of the items that this chemical is found it.  Naturally, it is found in trees and other plants.  It is widely used for its ability to evaporate quickly and its low cost.   

How does Acetone React with Water?

Neither acetone, nor water have high reactivity.  This means both of these chemicals generally do not react when mixed with another chemical or substance.  There are definitely exceptions to this rule for both of these substances, however that is not the case when they are mixed together.  They mesh well and do not have a reaction.   

Both chemicals have similar properties.  Both substances are polar, meaning they have a charge on a certain part of the molecule.  Additionally, both substances are capable of hydrogen bonding; a type of bonding that can only occur between certain molecules and helps to keep compounds together.   

When acetone is mixed with water it will completely dissolve.  In this instance, acetone acts as the solute while water acts as the solvent.  As they mix, hydrogen bonds form between the acetone molecules and the water molecules.  These bonds keep the acetone and the water bound together and keeps the acetone completely dissolved in the water.  This results in a solution that is composed of equal parts acetone and water, meaning it is homogenous.   

Since acetone can completely dissolve in water, this makes it possible for it to be diluted by water.  This is promising for certain chemical reactions as acetone could potentially be an irritant.  However, this dilution may lessen the effectiveness of the acetone.   

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