Butanone, also known as methyl ethyl ketone or MEK, is an organic compound
Organic compound
An organic compound is any member of a large class of gaseous, liquid, or solid chemical compounds whose molecules contain carbon. For historical reasons discussed below, a few types of carbon-containing compounds such as carbides, carbonates, simple oxides of carbon, and cyanides, as well as the...

 with the formula
Chemical formula
A chemical formula or molecular formula is a way of expressing information about the atoms that constitute a particular chemical compound....

 CH3C(O)CH2CH3. This colorless liquid ketone
In organic chemistry, a ketone is an organic compound with the structure RCR', where R and R' can be a variety of atoms and groups of atoms. It features a carbonyl group bonded to two other carbon atoms. Many ketones are known and many are of great importance in industry and in biology...

 has a sharp, sweet odor reminiscent of butterscotch
Butterscotch is a type of confectionery whose primary ingredients are brown sugar and butter, although other ingredients such as corn syrup, cream, vanilla, and salt are part of some recipes...

 and acetone
Acetone is the organic compound with the formula 2CO, a colorless, mobile, flammable liquid, the simplest example of the ketones.Acetone is miscible with water and serves as an important solvent in its own right, typically as the solvent of choice for cleaning purposes in the laboratory...

. It is produced industrially on a large scale, and also occurs in trace amounts in nature. It is soluble in water and is commonly used as an industrial solvent.
Oxidation of 2-butanol
2-Butanol, or sec-butanol, is an organic compound with formula CH3CHCH2CH3. This secondary alcohol is a flammable, colorless liquid that is soluble in 12 parts water and completely miscible with polar organic solvents such as ethers and other alcohols. It is produced on a large scale, primarily as...

 is one way to produce butanone.