acetylene

acetylene (əsĕtˈəlēnˌ) [key] or ethyne ĕthˈĪn, HC–CH, a colorless gas. It melts at - 80.8°C and boils at - 84.0°C. Offensive odors often noted in commercial acetylene are due to impurities. Acetylene forms explosive mixtures with oxygen or air. It is soluble in acetone, ethanol, and water. When dissolved in acetone it is nonexplosive and so is stored dissolved in acetone under pressure in steel cylinders for commercial use. Since it is explosive in the liquid state, it is not generally stored in this form. Acetylene is easily prepared commercially by the reaction of calcium carbide with water, but is prepared commercially by the pyrolysis of hydrocarbons. It is used for cutting and welding metals (see oxyacetylene torch) and is sometimes used as an illuminant gas. When subjected to high temperatures, it undergoes polymerization; benzene may also be formed. It is used in the production of many organic compounds, e.g., neoprene rubber, plastics, and resins. Acetylene is the simplest alkyne.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on acetylene from Fact Monster:

  • alkyne - alkyne alkyne , any of a group of aliphatic hydrocarbons whose molecules contain one or more ...
  • oxyacetylene torch - oxyacetylene torch oxyacetylene torch , tool that mixes and burns oxygen and acetylene to produce ...
  • stove: Modern Stoves - Modern Stoves Since gas and electricity have become generally available, the wood-burning or ...
  • Pierre Eugène Marcelin Berthelot - Berthelot, Pierre Eugène Marcelin Berthelot, Pierre Eugène Marcelin , ...
  • Enugu - Enugu Enugu , city (1991 est. pop. 279,000), SE Nigeria. It is a diversified industrial center and ...

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Organic Chemistry