Di Acetone Alcohol

Di acetone alcohol (also known as DAA, 4-hydroxy-4methyl-2-pentanone, and diacetone) is a clear, colourless, liquid that is soluble in water and miscible in oil and that has a mild odour. It has the formula C6H12O2.  It occurs naturally in the plant Sleepy Grass (achnatherum robustum) and is also prepared synthetically for use in the chemical and industrial industries.


Di acetone alcohol can be prepared from acetone by the action of the alkali metal hydroxides, calcium hydroxide and barium hydroxide.

Storage and distribution

Di acetone alcohol is stored in mild steel and /or stainless steel tanks and/or drums and can be transported by bulk vessels or tank trucks.  It should be stored in an area that is well ventilated and that is away from sunlight, ignition sources, and other forms of heat.  For transportation purposes it comes into packing group III, hazard class 3.3 and is an irritant.  It has a specific gravity of 0.938 and a flash point of 59 °C (closed cup).


The main use for di acetone alcohol is as a solvent for water-based coatings with approximately 90% of all the DAA produced used in this way.  It can also be added to cellulose ester lacquers where it produces a brilliant gloss and hard film, with little odour.

It is also used in the making of artificial silk and leather and in imitation gold leaf.  DAA is also a component of gravure printing inks, wood stains, and wood preservatives, and can also be found in degreasers and metal cleaning compounds.

DAA is also important as a chemical intermediate as it can be condensed to produce mesityl oxide (MO) and water.  This carbon-carbon double bond of MO is then selectively hydrogenated to produce MIBK (methyl isobutyl ketone) which is, itself, a valuable industrial solvent.