What is Calcium Carbide?
CaC2, also known as Calcium Carbide, is a chemical compound with the formula CaC2. It can be prepared by heating calcium oxide and carbon together, or it can be found in natural form as the mineral witherite (CaCO·Ca(OH)·5HO). Calcium carbide has been used extensively as an industrial chemical, but today its main use is in preparing acetylene gas by reaction with water. In this role, CaC2 serves as a convenient source of acetylene gas for use in welding and various other industrial processes.
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Calcium carbide, CaC2, produced from limestone and coke at approximately 2500 °C, is used as an inexpensive precursor to acetylene gas. Acetylene can be produced from calcium carbide by two different methods: the carbide can be heated to liberate the acetylene as a gas or the CaC2 can be reacted with water to form calcium hydroxide which in turn reacts with the water to form acetylene and calcium oxide. The latter method produces higher yields of acetylene since it reacts at lower temperatures than heating calcium carbide.
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Calcium carbide is a chemical compound. It is a white powder, very soluble in water and therefore not usually handled as a solid. It explodes on contact with water or moisture in air, but it does not react with oxygen or nitrogen under normal conditions. When heated in an excess of air, it will decompose exothermically into calcium oxide and carbon dioxide: CaC2 + 2O → CaO + CO.
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Properties of Calcium Carbide:
Calcium carbide is an inorganic compound with chemical formula CaC2. It is used as a reactant in production of acetylene, acetaldehyde, acetic acid, vinyl chloride and polyacetylene. Calcium carbide is produced by treating lime with coke at about 1000 °C. It is used as an alternative source of acetylene gas for oxy-acetylene welding and cutting equipment.
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It has also been used to create carborundum crystals by reaction with water at very high temperatures (> 2000 °C). An advantage of calcium carbide over pure carbon is that it decomposes into calcium oxide and carbon dioxide at temperatures below 900 °C, which avoids problems associated with incomplete combustion or fusion of pure carbon materials.
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Production of Calcium carbide, CaC2 is carried out in two stages. In one stage, sulphuric acid is used to convert calcium oxide, CaO to calcium sulfate, CaSO4. The other process uses coal and coke which are heated in air at elevated temperatures to produce carbon monoxide and hydrogen; these react with additional air in another reactor to form CO gas.
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To manufacture quality calcined petroleum coke for carbide production, raw coke is dried in vacuum tubes by circulating hot air through it at below its dew point temperature. A calcium carbide plant typically employs three main processes: absorption, purification and preparation. In all cases, calcium carbide is made through chemical reactions. The first step in creating calcium carbide is to make calcium metal and carbon monoxide (CO). This can be done by heating lime and coke together in an electric furnace or gas furnace.
The calcium carbide market was estimated at 27.5 million tons in 2020, and the market is projected to register a CAGR of about 4% during the forecast period (2021-2026). The demand for Calcium Carbide is growing due to its superior mechanical properties that meet today’s most demanding thermal, mechanical, and electrical performance requirements across various applications.
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Additionally, the use of calcium carbide not only simplifies and diminish the cost of synthesis, but also avoids the problems associated with transportation and sorting that makes it as a useful product across pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, plastics and steel industries. The demand for Calcium Carbide is growing due to its superior mechanical properties that meet today’s most demanding thermal, mechanical, and electrical performance requirements across various applications.
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Additionally, the use of calcium carbide not only simplifies and diminish the cost of synthesis, but also avoids the problems associated with transportation and sorting that makes it as a useful product across pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, plastics and steel industries.
· ALMAMET GMBH
· Rexarc International, Inc.
· Donau Chemie AG
· Lonza Group AG
· Denka Company Limited
· Carbide Industries LLC
· MCB Industries SDN BHD
· Iran Carbide
· SA Calcium Carbide
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