Phenylacetone (P2P)

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    Phenylacetone is an organic compound with the chemical formula C6H5CH2COCH3. It is a yellowish oil with a pleasant odor that is soluble in organic solvents. This substance is used in the manufacture of Methamphetamine [2][3] and Amphetamine [1][4], where it is commonly known as P2P.

    Physical properties

    • CAS Number: 103-79-7;
    • Chemical formula: C6H5CH2COCH3;
    • Molar mass: 134.178 g/mol;
    • Density: 1.0057 g/cm3;
    • Melting Point: -15 °C (5 °F; 258 K) ;
    • Boiling point: 214 ± 216 °C (417 to 421 °F; 487 to 489 K)/760 mmHg, 86-87 °C/6 mmHg ;
    • Appearance: yellowish oil, flowery odor "honey-like", "burnt flowers", "green apple";

    Chemical properties

    • Insoluble in water;
    • Soluble in chloroform;
    • Miscible with alcohols, esters, ethers, halocarbons, ketones, toluene, benzene, xylene;

    IUPAC name: 1-Phenylpropan-2-one

    Other names: P2P, BMK, Benzyl Methyl Ketone or Phenylacetone Benzyl methyl ketone; Phenyl-2-propanone

    Synthesis ways

    Aside from the often reduction of (pseudo)Ephedrine to Methamphetamine, the most popular precursor to Amphetamine and Methamphetamine is phenyl-2-propanone. There is an astounding array of synthetic routes to this compound, both due to the relative simple structure of the compound, and also because of its popularity. Many of the earliest routes to the compound has been more or less abandoned due to restrictions on the pre-precursors used to make it, but there has always sprung up new methods of performing the feat of making this compound. Here is a list of the most popular methods of synthesizing phenyl-2-propanone.

    Synthesis of P2P from P2NP with NaBH4 and K2CO3/H2O2


    Phenyl-2-Propanones from Acetone Mn(III)-Catalyzed Aromatic Acetonylation


    1-Phenyl-2-propanone (P2P) from Diethyl(phenylacetyl)malonate


    Synthesis of P2P from Benzaldehyde with MEK




    Synthesis of P2P by oxidation of alpha-methylstyrene with Oxone (Potassium Peroxomonosulfate)


    Phenylacetone (P2P) syntheses via Grignard reagents





    Phenylacetone from BMK methyl glycidate [5]


    Many of the syntheses can also be tweaked to produce substituted phenyl-2-propanones, such as the ever popular MDMA precursor MDP2P (3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl-2-propanone) by using starting materials with the desirable aromatic substituents.

    Legal status

    Due to the illicit uses in clandestine chemistry, it was declared a schedule II controlled substance in the United States in 1980. Due to its suitability as a starting material in Methamphetamine synthesis, phenylacetone belongs to Category I of the monitored chemicals in the EU according to the Basic Substances Monitoring Act. This means that manufacture, trade, import and export without a permission are punishable.

    Legal application

    Phenylacetone is used in the synthesis of pesticides, diphacinone (a rat poison) and pharmaceutical compounds. These include diphacinone, an anticoagulant used as a rodenticide. Phenylacetone is present in stain removers and cleaning agents in Turkey and the US.


    Store in a closed, cooled airtight bottles, in dry place (-20°C as a wet ice) away from air and light. Keep container closed when not in use. Stability ≥ 1 year;


    Avoid release into the environment. Runoff from fire control or dilution water may cause pollution. Can be destroyed with excess bleach (to destroy leftover chloroform), then poured down the drain.

    Toxicity and rules for handling the substance

    Phenylacetone has low toxicity, though it may be irritant. Wash thoroughly after handling. Remove contaminated clothing and wash before reuse. Avoid contact with eyes, skin, and clothing. Avoid ingestion and inhalation. Intraperitoneal LD50 (mouse): 540 mg/kg;

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