Acetylene Gas - Directory of Limiting Characteristics


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CGA G-1.1 — 1990

ACETYLENE MIN. % ASSAY 95 98 98 98 99.5 99.5 99.6
PHOSPHINE & ARSINE 500 50 500 50 25
HYDROGEN SULFIDE 500 50 500 50 25

(1) Cylinder acetylene contains variable percetage quantities of solvent (normally acetone, boiling point 188°F or 56.2°C), the amount of solvent present in the expelled gas being dependent upon the vapor pressure of the solvent, the condition of the cylinder, and the conditions of withdrawal. The purities listed are given on a solvent free basis.

(2) Acetylene manufactured from hydrocarbon feedstock is inherently free from phosphine, arsine and hydrogen sulfide.

Mixtures of air and acetylene are explosive over a wide range, from about 2.5 percent air in acetylene to about 12.5 percent acetylene in air. When burned with the correct amount of air, acetylene gives a pure, white light, and for this reason it was at one time used for illumination in locations where electric power was not available, e.g., buoys, miners' lamps, and road signals.
The combustion of acetylene produces a large amount of heat, and, in a properly designed torch, the oxyacetylene flame attains the highest flame temperature (about 6,000° F, or 3,300° C) of any known mixture of combustible gases.

The hydrogen atoms in acetylene can be replaced by metallic elements to form acetylides--e.g., acetylides of silver, copper, or sodium. The acetylides of silver, copper, mercury, and gold are
detonated by heat, friction, or shock. In addition to its reactive hydrogen atom, the carbon-carbon triple bond can readily add halogens, halogen acids, hydrogen cyanide, alcohols, amines, and amides. Acetylene can also add to itself or to aldehydes and ketones. Many of the reactions mentioned here are used for the commercial manufacture of various industrial and consumer products, such as acetaldehyde, the synthetic rubber neoprene, water-base paints, vinyl fabric and floor coverings, dry-cleaning solvents, and aerosol insecticide sprays. Acetylene is produced by any of three methods: by reaction of water with calcium carbide, by passage of a hydrocarbon through an electric arc, or by partial combustion of methane with air or oxygen.

Last Updated: 2/9/00