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CAS number 78-59-1 YesY
PubChem 6544
ChemSpider 6296 YesY
EC number 201-126-0
KEGG C14743 YesY
Jmol-3D images Image 1
Molecular formula C9H14O
Molar mass 138.21 g mol−1
Appearance Colorless to white liquid
Odor Peppermint-like[2]
Density 0.9255 g/cm3
Melting point −8.1 °C (17.4 °F; 265.0 K)
Boiling point 215.32 °C (419.58 °F; 488.47 K)
Solubility in water 1.2 g/100 mL
Solubility ether, acetone, hexane, dichloromethane, benzene, toluene, alcohol
Refractive index (nD) 1.4766
Viscosity 2.62 cP
Std enthalpy of
43.4 kJ/mol
Flash point 84 °C (183 °F; 357 K)
LD50 2280 mg/kg (rat, oral)
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
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Infobox references

Isophorone is an α,β-unsaturated cyclic ketone, a colorless to yellowish liquid with a characteristic peppermint-like smell. It is used as a solvent and as an intermediate in organic synthesis. Isophorone also occurs naturally in cranberries.[3]


Isophorone can be manufactured by catalyzed self-condensation of acetone.[4] Mesityl oxide is the initial product of the self-aldol condensation of acetone. The mesityl oxide formed can react further with acetone via a Michael reaction and subsequent intramolecular aldol condensation to eventually obtain the six-membered ring of isophorone. This is an example of the Robinson annulation. The yield of the two compounds depends on the reaction conditions.

Isophorone mesityl oxide.png


The use of isophorone as a solvent resulted from the search for ways to dispose of or recycle acetone, which is a waste product of phenol synthesis by the Hock method.[5]


Isophorone is used as a solvent in some printing inks, paints, lacquers, adhesives, copolymers, coatings, finishings and pesticides.[3] It is also used as a chemical intermediate and as an ingredient in wood preservatives and floor sealants.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Merck Index, 13th Edition, 5215.
  2. ^ CDC - NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards
  3. ^ a b Chronic Toxicity Summary
  4. ^ U.S. Patent 5,849,957
  5. ^ Isophorone history at Degussa