What is Calcium Carbide?

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Calcium carbide is a chemical compound containing calcium and carbide, with a chemical formula of CaC2. Pure calcium carbide is colorless, but most of the material is produced industrially, and is somewhat impure, giving it a black or grayish-white color, depending on the quality. The main use for calcium carbide is in the production of the flammable gas acetylene. It is necessary to produce calcium carbide industrially, because it is not naturally occurring in large amounts. Very high temperatures, on the order of 3630 degrees Fahrenheit (2000 degrees C) are necessary to produce the material. It is made in a type of furnace called an electric arc furnace, which can reach temperatures much hotter than those that are obtained through simple combustion. The basic chemical process used to make the material has not changed since it was discovered in 1888. When any grade of calcium carbide comes into contact with water, a chemical reaction immediately begins, which yields two new ... more
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A banned ripening chemical agent in many countries, including India, calcium carbide is openly and commonly used for ripening fruit in Pakistan. A very strong reactive chemical, calcium carbide has carcinogenic properties and is used in gas welding for steel goods. About the use of the chemical agent in fruit ripening, Dr Abid Hasnain of Karachi Universitys department of food science and technology said that when calcium carbide comes in contact with moisture, it produces acetylene gas, which is quite similar in reaction to the natural ripening agents produced by fruit known as ethylene. Acetylene acts like ethylene and accelerates the ripening process. Its an artificial way of ripening fruit and, therefore, not advisable. People must wash all types of fruit before consumption, or else it will burn their skin and will cause other health problems. In developed countries, he said, ripening chambers were set up at processing plants, where fruit is treated with controlled purified gases, ... more
Calcium carbide is a chemical compound with the chemical formula of CaC2. The material is colorless, but most samples appear black through to grayish white lumps, depending on the grade. Its main use industrially is in the production of acetylene. Contents [hide] 1 Production 2 Crystal structure 3 Applications 3.1 Production of acetylene 3.2 Production of calcium cyanamide 3.3 Steelmaking 3.4 Carbide lamps 3.5 Other uses 4 External links 5 References [edit] Production Calcium carbide is produced industrially in an electric arc furnace loaded with a mixture of lime and coke at approximately 2000 °C. This method has not changed since its invention in 1888: CaO + 3C → CaC2 + CO The high temperature required for this reaction is not practically achievable by traditional combustion, so the reaction is performed in an electric arc furnace with graphite electrodes. The carbide product produced generally contains around 80% calcium carbide by weight. The carbide is crushed to produce small ... more
Calcium carbide is a chemical compound formed by heating lime and carbon in an arc furnace. It is a hard, grayish, rock-like substance, and its molecular formula is CaC2. Calcium carbide reacts violently with water, producing acetylene gas. (Click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ny9LbH2Dhw to see a video of this reaction.) 1 gram of calcium carbide will produce about 349ml of acetylene. A way to produce the chemical was first dicovered in 1892, by Canadian inventor Thomas L. Wilson, while working at the Wilson Aluminum Co. in Spray, North Carolina. Wilson was attempting to find a new, economical proccess for producing aluminum. What he developed, however, was a way of manufacturing a product that would have great, and far reaching, benefits for the industrial world. From its inception as an industrial compound, calcium carbide was associated with lighting. Cities and towns readily adopted acetylene as a cheap, easily obtainable gas for the lighting of homes and streets. Carbide ... more

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