|MadSci Network: Botany|
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. References 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: 87-91.
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