Acetylene - C2H2

What is Acetylene?

C2H2 is simplest alkyne chemical compound with chemical name Acetylene. It is also called Ethyne or Narcylen or Vinylene. It is widely used as a chemical building block and a fuel. In its pure form it is unstable is handled as a solution. It is an unsaturated compound the two carbon atoms in it are linked together with double bond.

Vinylene is a colorless gas which has a mild ether like odor. It is easily soluble in water, chloroform, acetone, and benzene. It is slightly soluble in carbon disulfide and ethanol. It is lighter when compared to air and easily ignites. Prolonged exposure to heat or fire can rupture containers violently.

Properties of Acetylene – C2H2



Molecular weight of C2H2

26.038 g/mol

Density of Acetylene

1.097 kg/m3

Boiling point of Acetylene


Melting Point of Acetylene

−80.8 °C

Acetylene structure – C2H2

Structure of Acetylene

C2H2 Uses (Acetylene)

  • Acetylene is used brazing.
  • Used in glass industry.
  • Used in the manufacturing of synthetic rubber.
  • Used in soldering metals.
  • Used as an additive to preserve food.
  • Used to precipitate metals.
  • Used to manufacture acetic acid.
  • Used as a feedstock in the manufacturing of acrylonitrile.
  • Used in carburization of steel.
  • Used as a fuel additive.

Production of Acetylene

Since the year 1950, this compound has been synthesized by the partial combustion of CH4 (methane). Around 4,00,000 tonnes was produced until 1983.

In the year 1862 it was prepared by a reaction which was discovered by Friedrich Wohlerthe. Hydrolysis of calcium carbide reaction is as follows:

CaC2 + 2H2O → Ca(OH)2 + C2H2

The above reaction takes place in an extremely high temperature approximately 2000 °C, with the use of an electric arc furnace.

Health hazards

Person who comes in contact with this compound will suffer from headache, loss of consciousness, and dizziness. Death due to choking can occur if a higher percentage of Ethyne is present in the air.

Learn more about the Structure, physical and chemical properties of C2H2 from the experts at BYJU’S.

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