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Acetylene Gas: Applications & Safe Usage Measures

Author: Arslan Khan
by Arslan Khan
Posted: May 30, 2018

Among the unsaturated hydrocarbons, acetylene is rated as the simplest member. It is also tagged as the most important material used for organic synthesis. How does acetylene prove useful? The worthiness of this substance is chiefly associated to addition reactions that involve its triple bond. In addition, the weakly acidic hydrogen atoms are also counted to be reacted with strong bases for forming acetylide salts. Considering industrial & commercial purposes, acetylene is created in proper acetylene production plants.

Acetylene Gas & Uses

Interestingly, acetylene gas comprises of effective properties which makes it beneficial for different industrial applications. Below mentioned are some of the major applications of acetylene gas which are proven and actively utilized in today’s time.

Portable Lighting

In the 19th century, acetylene was actively used to light up portable lamps termed as acetylene gas lamp or carbide. These lamps could be found at homes, or on cars and bicycles. Moreover, miners also kept these lamps while at work. In the present time, you can check that, these lamps are used effectively by hunters.

Chemical Production

The use of acetylene is majorly aimed at chemical synthesis. The acquired gas is preferred for manufacturing numerous inorganic compounds. Furthermore, the synthesis of specifics vitamins such as Vitamin A and E, also requires the use of this compound. The production of certain constituents used in perfumes and solvents also require this compound.

Welding, Heat Treating and Cutting

Currently, the acetylene gas market at the global level is motivated through its usage in cutting and welding. Do remember that, this compound is used for welding is termed as gas cutting or oxy-fuel cutting. Materials which need temperatures higher than 3,500 degree Celsius are treated with flames produced using this special compound. These warm flames also assist the operation of metal heat treating.

Polyethylene Plastic Production

Even though PVDF, PVC and polyethylene plastics are shaped from methane or ethylene but they are even derived from acetylene. This can be counted as a different production process where the target compound is merged with elements such as hydrochloric acid, chlorine, etc. for producing different versions of plastic like PVDF, PVC etc.

Volatilization of Carbon during Radiocarbon Dating

The volatilization of carbon during radiocarbon dating is initiated with the need for acetylene. The material is worked upon using lithium metal managed in a specialized furnace for creating lithium carbide. This carbide is further reacted with water to produce acetylene gas; used to analyze the isotopic proportion of carbon-14 to carbon-12.

Mixture of Air and Acetylene

It should be noted that, mixtures of air and acetylene does result as an explosive. The composition is exactly 2.5% air in acetylene, ranging to 12.5% acetylene in air. If the compound burns with the right quantity of air, it produces a white, pure light, and as a reason is utilized for illumination across regions where the availability of electric power is meager.

This burning of this concerned chemical component leads to a large extent of heat, and, if used in a suitably designed torch, the oxy-acetylene flame reaches the maximum flame temperature, close to 6,000°F, of any identified combination of combustible gases.

Precautionary Measures with Acetylene Gas

  • The storage of acetylene cylinders should always be managed in a specially assigned location. Moreover, these cylinders need to be stored vertically in a well ventilated and dry area. Also, the temperature of the space should be maintained below 35 degree Celsius.
  • Unless the cylinders are in use, make sure to keep the cylinder valves shut and fix valve protection caps regardless they are empty or filled.
  • Store empty & full cylinders in separate spaces.
  • Fix visible signs restricting open flames or smoking.
  • Try not to drop a cylinder or expose it to any kind of abnormal shock.
  • Protection against sea water is very much required. Moreover, accumulation of snow and ice should also be ensured.
  • Analyze cylinder contents by checking the weight; make sure to use the factor of 0.92 m3 / kg.
  • Do not try to transfer acetylene through any cylinder.
  • Repairing or altering a cylinder valve shouldn’t be tried at all.

Acetylene gas is an essential product which needs to be smartly used for both commercial and industrial functions. Moreover, it can even prove dangerous when not managed in a safe environment. You can surely get in touch with chemical experts who can enlighten you about the careful use of acetylene cylinders.

About the Author

Arslan Khan is currently living in Delhi, working as a Senior Research Manager @ Fact.MR. He is a blogger with unique content each time.

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Author: Arslan Khan

Arslan Khan

Member since: Dec 13, 2017
Published articles: 27

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