Diacetone alcohol

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A strong solvent with a minty odor that can soften dried Linseed oil films (Mayer 1969). Diacetone alcohol is used as a solvent for Cellulose nitrate, Cellulose acetate, oils, resin, waxes, fats, tars, lacquers, dyes, and oil stains. It is also used for preserving wood, leather, and animal tissue and for cleaning metals and textiles. Toch (1931) mentions diacetone alcohol for coalescing crackle on old varnish films.

Chemical structure

Diacetone alcohol.jpg

Synonyms and Related Terms

diacetone; 4-hydroxy-4-methylpentanone-2; pyranton


  • Flammable, fire risk.
  • Overexposure may cause irritation of the respiratory system.
  • Fisher Scientific: MSDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

Miscible with alcohols, aromatics, halogenated hydrocarbons, esters and water.

Composition CH3COCH2C(CH3)2OH
CAS 123-42-2
Melting Point -44 C
Density 0.9306 g/ml
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 116.16
Refractive Index 1.4232
Boiling Point 167.9 C

Resources and Citations

  • M. Toch, Paint, Paintings and Restoration, D.Van Nostrand, New York, 1931.
  • R. J. Gettens, G.L. Stout, Painting Materials, A Short Encyclopaedia, Dover Publications, New York, 1966
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 9
  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 3008

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