Often a major component, or the sole component, of nail polish remover. It is well-used in killing small animals. Do not inhale.

To make your own small animal gas chamber, get a glass jar, perhaps a quart-size jar, and stuff the bottom with cotton balls. Cut a piece of corrugated cardboard to fit the jar and stick it in over the cotton balls. To kill: tilt the jar and pour a generous, but not excessive, amount of acetone down the side of the jar and allow the cotton balls to soak the acetone. Stick the small animal in the jar on the cardboard, and cover the jar. The animal will die a potentially agonizing death which will leave it in excellent condition for mounting or preserving.

The time I gassed a grasshopper, it immediately started secreting its brown juice and stuck its mouth on the ground (cardboard), and started doodling and drawing scribbles all over the cardboard with its juice, as if it were frantically trying to communicate with me. I watched it until it slowed down to its death a few minutes later.

Also known as 2-propanone.

structural formula for acetone:

   H        O
    \      //          acetone
H -- C -- C            (C3H6O)
    /      \
   H        C -- H
           / \
          H   H

A colorless, flammable liquid which is used as a solvent (it is most familiar as the solvent in nail polish remover). The simplest ketone (it is also known as 2-propanone), it mixes with water, ethyl alcohol, and most oils. It melts at -95.4 C°. and boils at 56.2 C°. It is naturally found in very tiny quantities in the body fluids and tissues of healthy people and in somewhat larger amounts in people suffering from diabetes or starvation.

From the BioTech Dictionary at http://biotech.icmb.utexas.edu/. For further information see the BioTech homenode.

Ac"e*tone (#), n. [See Acetic.] Chem.

A volatile liquid consisting of three parts of carbon, six of hydrogen, and one of oxygen; pyroacetic spirit, -- obtained by the distillation of certain acetates, or by the destructive distillation of citric acid, starch, sugar, or gum, with quicklime.

⇒ The term in also applied to a number of bodies of similar constitution, more frequently called ketones. See Ketone.


© Webster 1913.

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