Acetophenone is the simplest aromatic ketone organic compound and it has a sweet taste and smell that resembles that of oranges. It melts at 20.5 degree Celsius which is above the melting point of ice and freezes under cool conditions. It is able to dissolve in water but is denser than water and therefore sinks. When it is in gaseous state, its vapor is heavier than air and when inhaled in high concentrations can be narcotic. They can also be mild irritants to the eyes and skin.
Acetophenones can react with many acids releasing heat and gases that are flammable. They have many chemical properties as they can react with oxidizing agents and reducing agents such as alkali metals and produce flammable hydrogen gas and heat. Also, during the reaction, the amount of heat that is generated can start a fire in the portion that has yet to react.
These chemicals do not have much health hazards beside the fact that their liquid form can cause eye and skin irritation upon contact. When in gaseous form, they are not toxic aside from being slightly hypnotic.
There are various methods to obtain Acetophenone but in the industry, it is obtained as a by-product ethyl benzene’s reaction with oxygen. It is used for various purposes in the industry. Resins that are used in the production of adhesives and varnishes are produced from the treatment of acetophenone with some other chemicals. Therefore, acetophenone have great value as adhesives are used vastly in industries and daily life and without acetophenone, they cannot be manufactured.
Acetophenone is also used in the synthesis of some pharmaceutical materials and is even used as an additive in cigarettes. In the 20th century, it was used as a hypnotic under the brand name Hypnone. A hypnotic is basically a form of sleeping pills. It stopped being manufactured as sleeping pills and is now used to create fragrances that smell like cherry, almond, strawberry or other fruits. Acetophenone can also be found naturally occurring in fruits such as apple and banana.