What is MEK (Methyl Ethyl Ketone)?

Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK) is a colorless, liquid chemical substance that is used in many industrial production processes. It is a natural solvent, making it a key component in many different chemical mixes and surface treatments. MEK is one of Alliance Chemical’s most popular liquid solvents!

Industrial worker


It is also referred to as Butanone or 2-Butanone, and while it is a particularly effective solvent itself, MEK is soluble in alcohol and water. It is a liquid ketone with no color, and a sharp odor similar to acetone. In fact, MEK and acetone share similar chemical compounds. MEK is favored for its strength over acetone, as it boils at a higher temperature and has a slower evaporation rate. It has a boiling point of 175.4°F (79.64°C), a molar mass of 72.11 g/mol, and a molecular density of 0.8049 g/mL. While MEK is a predominantly manufactured chemical used for industrial purposes, it can also be found in trace amounts in nature.

Lab workerMEK VS. Acetone

MEK or Methyl Ethyl Ketone is stronger than Acetone, because it has a slower evaporation rate and boils at a higher temperature.

These differences are why MEK can be a stronger cleaning agent than acetone.

Unlike Acetone, MEK forms an azeotrope with water, which means that methyl ethyl ketone and water mix together to form a constant boiling point that cannot be affected by distillation.

Benefits of MEK

  • Highly effective solvent.
  • High boiling point.
  • Slow evaporation rate.
  • Soluble with water.

What can MEK (Methyl Ethyl Ketone) do for you?

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