In article , Christopher A.
No, it isn't. The IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied
Chemistry) has a very formalised set of rules for naming chemical
compounds, and it is only possible to have one valid name under those
rules. The name for this compound is butanone.
Even under the previous system of nomenclature (which was superseded
around half a century ago) the compound should have been called ethyl
methyl ketone, as the radicals were to be quoted in alphabetical order.
The name methyl ethyl ketone probably achieved popularity for no other
reason than that it has a nice acronym, but I doubt it has ever been a
And if Wikipedia is correct, that name is not butanone. It's
I'm always suspicious of things claiming to be official. Who says is
IUPAC the only body that can decide official names?
All kinds of things call themselves official, not all of them
desirable. I recommend being unambiguous and referring to the
naming body concerned, instead of saying "official".
In article , Richard Tobin
Well, Wikipedia is wrong. The IUPAC rules do not allow for redundant
information; since there is only one possible structure for the name
butanone, then any further specification is otiose.
It is the internationally-recognised body for the subject. There is no
I was only trying to help the OP to find the thing he was looking for,
not start a war, but if people follow up with misinformation it does
need to be corrected.
Interesting. The IUPAC provisional recommendation "Preferred IUPAC
Names" (2004) uses butan-2-one as an example of a preferred IUPAC name
(PIN) on pages 49 and 91:
As far as I can see there is no more recent version.
It also gives "ethyl methyl ketone" as the correct form of the
functional class name of that chemical (page 49), so I don't see
that that isn't also an "official" name.
In article , Richard Tobin
Interesting, thanks for finding that. The "2" is omitted in other IUPAC
documents I have looked at, see for example
Seems to be a
moving target - and para 14.3.3 of the document you cite even suggests
the "2" is not required, as it is not needed to give an unambiguous
Not sure if it ever got adopted, but still I agree influential.
...but not a preferred name (PIN) (and "methyl ethyl ketone" has never
Much too far OT though! For the non-chemistry-obsessed railway
enthusiasts, the message is, if you need it, search for methyl ethyl
ketone, MEK, or butanone, trade sellers will almost certainly be using
one of those names - which is all I set out to say to the OP.
It's the body recognised by the various international professional
societies of chemists, and will generally also be referenced by
journals (so if you submit a paper that does not use IUPAC names it
may be rejected or amended).
Science works by consensus, IUPAC is the body that codifies the
consensus on naming.