If you have an ACS member number, please enter it here so we can link this account to your membership. (optional)

ACS values your privacy. By submitting your information, you are gaining access to C&EN and subscribing to our weekly newsletter. We use the information you provide to make your reading experience better, and we will never sell your data to third party members.



Denaturing acetone

October 16, 2006 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 84, Issue 42

After last year's London bus bombings that used acetone peroxide explosives, I attempted to alert the U.S. government to the advisability of denaturing acetone and related ketone solvents available to the public in the U.S. I also submitted details on how to denature such ketone solvents to prevent their being used as feedstocks in explosive synthesis while retaining their usefulness as solvents for public use. I also discovered that Ehud Keinan, an Israeli chemist, has shared my concerns and had prepared denatured acetone, which he refers to as "impaired acetone."

Obviously, it is impossible to deny potential terrorists access to every substance that could conceivably be utilized to commit criminal acts. However, given the clear penchant for using acetone by the current suspects, it appears advisable that consideration be given by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms to Keinan's and my proposals. Unfortunately, we lack access to those in government who might effect such a plan. Perhaps there are others who would be more effective in this effort.

John C. Freeman
Pinehurst, N.C.


Ballots for the American Chemical Society's fall 2006 national election were mailed to members on Sept. 25. If your ballot (mailed in a white envelope with a red banner marked "Urgent Official Election Ballot Enclosed") hasn't arrived yet, you may request that a duplicate ballot be sent to you by calling VR Election Services, Customer Service at (800) 218-4026, Monday-Friday, 8:30 AM-5 PM central time, no later than Oct. 27. You can cast your vote electronically or by traditional mail-in ballot. The voting deadline is close of business (5 PM CT), on Nov. 3. Election information on all candidates can be found at


This article has been sent to the following recipient:

Chemistry matters. Join us to get the news you need.