Methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK)
A colorless liquid ketone, MIBK is primarily used as a solvent for gums, resins, paints, lacquers, varnishes, and nitrocellulose. Using a three-step process, MIBK is synthesized from acetone via a three step process. First the acetone is processed using an aldol concentration, producing diacetone alcohol, which is easily dehydrated to create mesityl oxide. The resulting mesityl oxide is then hydrogenated to create MIBK. In addition to its many applications as an industrial solvent, MIBK is also a precursor for the compound 6PPD, which is an important antiozonant used in manufacturing tires. MIBK is a highly useful solvent largely due to its low water solubility, allowing for easier liquid-liquid extraction. It is also similar in polarity to ethyl acetate, but possesses greater stability towards aqueous acid and base. Additionally, it is the primary solvent for CS in the preparation of tear gas spray currently used by police forces in Great Britain.