Acetylene is manufactured commercially by reaction between Calcium Carbide and water, and as a by-product of ethylene production.
Acetylene (C2H2) is a gaseous hydro- carbon with characteristics that make it highly suitable for technical applications. The gas contains 92.2 percentages by weight Carbon and 7.8 percent Hydrogen and is approximately 10 percent lighter than air. It has high calorific value due to the special chemical combination of Carbon and Hydrogen.
When it is burned it releases large volumes of latent energy.
- Acetylene is the best and most versatile fuel gas for welding, straightening, bending, forming, hardening, cutting or tempering. It is the hottest flame temperature when compared to MAPP gas, propylene and propane and natural gas (2,910 ̊C, 2,895 ̊C, 2,800 ̊C and 2,780 ̊C respectively).
- Acetylene is used as a fuel gas for oxy-acetylene welding, cutting, general localised heating, flame hardening, flame cleaning to remove rust from steel, spalling concrete and other processes requiring a high temperature flame (3,160 ̊C when combusted in Oxygen).
- Specially purified instrument grade Acetylene which has such impurities (Arsine, Phosphine, Ammonia and Hydrogen Sulphide) removed is used in atomic absorption, analytical instrumentation and navigational beacons.