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ketene

[kee-teen] /ˈki tin/
noun, Chemistry
1.
a colorless, poisonous gas, C 2 H 2 O, irritating to the lungs, prepared from acetone or acetic acid by pyrolysis: used chiefly in the manufacture of certain commercial chemicals, as acetic anhydride and aspirin.
Origin
1905-1910
1905-10; ket- + -ene
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for ketene

ketene

/ˈkiːtiːn; ˈkɛt-/
noun
1.
a colourless irritating toxic gas used as an acetylating agent in organic synthesis. Formula: CH2:CO Also called ethonone
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for ketene

any of a class of organic compounds containing the functional grouping CCO; the most important member of the class being ketene itself, CH2CO, which is used in the manufacture of acetic anhydride and other industrial organic chemicals. The name suggests that ketenes are unsaturated ketones, but their chemistry resembles that of carboxylic acid anhydrides.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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