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Topic: acetone vs ethanol  (Read 12853 times)

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Offline dan2000

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acetone vs ethanol
« on: June 22, 2015, 06:57:33 AM »
for all my time during the lab, i've been using acetone to rinse/wash etc.

today we ordered 10 big cans of acetone, they confused it somehow and brought ethanol. We're going to refund it but i was wondering which is the better washing brand.

I know that it's alcohol vs ketone, but in relation to being used as general washing solvent, which is better? I did use some methanol for specific cases, but if ethanol doesnt really differ much/no critical side reaction we might just not bother to refund and use it instead.

Thanks.

Offline Hunter2

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Re: acetone vs ethanol
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2015, 07:52:23 AM »
The question is what do you wash or rinse. Not everything is soluble in ethanol what is soluble in acetone.

Offline dan2000

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Re: acetone vs ethanol
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2015, 08:09:01 AM »
i know solubility comes into play, but im talking about for general washing of glassware.

been to around 3~4 labs, never seen ethanol as general washing choice. just curious

Offline Hunter2

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Re: acetone vs ethanol
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2015, 08:29:37 AM »
Ethanol is better to drink, so acetone or iso-propanole is used. In some countries also a vine tax is on the ethanol, so it would be expensive to use only for washing.

Offline pgk

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Re: acetone vs ethanol
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2015, 10:15:21 AM »
Both ethanol and acetone and even isopropanol work for washing and rinsing. But there is a question of drying time due to the boiling point difference. Note that methanol cannot be used for that purpose, due to the high toxicity (inhalation of MeOH vapors causes blindness).
Acetone bp= 57 oC
Ethanol bp = 79 oC
Isopropanol bp =83 oC

Offline dan2000

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Re: acetone vs ethanol
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2015, 09:33:14 PM »
mmm okay, so ethanol dries slower and we would rather drink it. Got it. Thanks :D

Offline pgk

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Re: acetone vs ethanol
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2015, 09:31:29 AM »
Remember that ethanol is a poison, too:
Oral, mouse: LD50 = 3450 mg/kg; Oral, rabbit: LD50 = 6300 mg/kg; Oral, rat: LD50 = 7060 mg/kg.
Also, note that liver injuries can occur at quite lower dosages than the lethal ones.


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