MadSci Network: Botany

Re: is it explosive to blend acetone +spinach leaves in a blender?

Date: Thu May 25 14:10:04 2006
Posted By: David Hershey, Faculty, Botany, NA
Area of science: Botany
ID: 1148577364.Bt

Yes, acetone vapor is extremely flammable and potentially explosive. You can
find reports online of explosions with spinach leaves and acetone in a blender.
Perhaps the people were using regular blenders or used them incorrectly. There
are explosion-proof blenders made for blending volatile organic solvents. 

A check of its Material Safety Data Sheet on the internet confirms that acetone
is extremely flammable and potentially explosive. Using an ice-cold mortar and
pestle would seem to be a safer method of extraction.

DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide) can also be used to extract chlorophyll from most
leaves without grinding. 


Chromatography of spinach pigments

Acetone: Material Safety Data Sheet

Tait, M.A. and Hik, D.S. 2003. Is dimethylsulfoxide a reliable solvent for
extracting chlorophyll under field conditions? Photosynthesis Research 78:

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