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Behaviour of MEK and IPA studied at Cedre

To assess the behaviour of MEK and IPA in the case of controlled release, the dissolution kinetics of these products were studied at Cedre in a specially-designed plexiglass column, 3.5 m high and 16 cm in diameter, filled with seawater. The products were injected using a pump at various depths and flow rates. To visualise the behaviour of these substances, dye (organol red) was added.


Measuring solubility

  • In seawater:

Tests were conducted at Cedre to measure the solubility of MEK in seawater at the request of the Ievoli Sun national expert committee. A solubility of 158 g/L at 25°C was measured.

  • In freshwater:

 The solubility is 223 g/L at 25 °C.


Behaviour of MEK

Despite the high solubility of MEK in seawater (158 g/L at 25°C), almost all the product reached the surface in the case of a sudden, uncontrolled release, as the time taken for it to rise to the surface was too short to allow for dissolution.
However, if the release rate is very slow, with the formation of bubbles of MEK, these bubbles do not reach the surface as the MEK dissolves as it rises.


MEK is classified as a soluble product, but the results obtained show that the release must be at a low flow rate. The formation of a surface slick, potentially affecting the environment and responders, cannot be excluded.


The tests carried out showed that IPA dissolves immediately in seawater without any particular danger. 

Last update on 23/03/2001
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