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Any of a class of organic compounds containing a carbonyl group (CO; seefunctional group) bonded to two carbon atoms. Ketones can participate in many chemical reactions, though to a lesser extent than the related aldehydes. Many more complex organic compounds have ketones as building blocks. Their chief industrial use is as solvents and in the manufacture of explosives, lacquers, paints, and textiles. Acetone is the most important ketone; several sugars and some natural and synthetic steroids are ketones. In ketosis, ketones produced by lipidmetabolism accumulate in the blood and urine in abnormal amounts, usually because of starvation or a metabolic disease such as diabetes mellitus.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on ketone, visit Britannica.com.