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Methyl Ethyl Ketone, MEK

Methyl Ethyl Ketone aka MEK is an organic compound with the formula CH3C(O)CH2CH3. This colorless liquid ketone has a sharp, sweet odor reminiscent of butterscotch and acetone. It is produced industrially on a large scale, and also occurs in trace amounts in nature. It is soluble in water and is commonly used as an industrial solvent.

Methyl Ethyl Ketone aka MEK is used in processes involving gums, resins, cellulose acetate and nitrocellulose coatings and in vinyl films. For this reason it finds use in the manufacture of plastics, textiles, in the production of paraffin wax, and in household products such as lacquer, varnishes, paint remover, a denaturing agent for denatured alcohol, glues, and as a cleaning agent. It has similar solvent properties to acetone but boils at a higher temperature and has a significantly slower evaporation rate. Methyl Ethyl Ketone aka MEK is also used in dry erase markers as the solvent of the erasable dye.

Methyl Ethyl Ketone aka MEK is also used as a plastic welding agent. It dissolves polystyrene and many other plastics, it is sold as "model cement" for use in connecting parts in a model kit.

We are pleased to offer Methyl Ethyl Ketone aka MEK in the following quantities:

  • IBC Tote

NIOSH recommends that employers use Hierarchy of Controls to prevent injuries. If you work in an industry that uses methyl ethyl ketone, please read chemical labels and the accompanying Safety Data Sheets for hazard information. Visit NIOSH’s page on Managing Chemical Safety in the Workplace to learn more about controlling chemical workplace exposures.

The following resources provide information about occupational exposure to methyl ethyl ketone. Useful search terms for methyl ethyl ketone include “2-butanone,” “MEK,” “methyl acetone,” and “methyl ethyl ketone.”