Calcium Carbide

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Wikipedia.

calcium carbide

[′kal·sē·əm ′kär‚bīd]
(inorganic chemistry)
CaC2 An alkaline earth carbide obtained in the pure form as transparent crystals that decompose in water; used to make acetylene gas.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Calcium Carbide


CaC2 a compound of calcium and carbon; one of the most important carbides used in technology. Chemically pure calcium carbide is colorless; industrial calcium carbide varies in color from light brown to black. Calcium carbide has a density of 2.2 g/cm3, and a melting point of 2300°C. Calcium carbide interacts with water to form acetylene: CaC2+ 2H2O = C2H2 + Ca(OH)2; the process is carried out in an excess of water for withdrawal of the liberated heat (30.4 kcal/mole, that is, 127.3 kilojoules per mole). Upon heating, calcium carbide interacts with nitrogen to form calcium cyana-mide: CaC2 + N 2 = CaCN2 + C.

Calcium carbide is prepared in electric furnaces at temperatures ranging from 1900° to 1950°C according to the reaction CaO + 3C = CaC2 + CO, in which a large quantity of heat (450.5 kilojoules per mole) is absorbed. Lime and anthracite or coke serve as raw material for the process. Most of the operating carbide furnaces have an opening at the top; CO is burned down to CO2 after its discharge from the furnace. Closed furnaces with CO extraction have also been constructed. Calcium carbide has found wide application in technology, primarily in the manufacture of acetylene and calcium cynamide and in the reduction of alkali metals.


Kuznetsov, L. A. Proizvodstvo karbida kaVtsiia. Moscow-Leningrad, 1950.
Strizhevskii, I. I., S. G. Guzov, and V. A. koval’skii. Atsetilenovye stantsii, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1959.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The curves in Figure 6 also show significant effect of calcium carbide slag content ([[alpha].sub.CCS]) on the strength.
Calcium carbide was coated with paint, wax, paraffin and gelatin by following the method as described by Mahmood et al.
However, no work related to effect of calcium carbide as a soil-applied source of ethylene on endogenous plant ethylene level and its subsequent impact on morho-phenological, physiological and fruit yield attributes of cucumber has been reported.
"Calcium carbide reacts with the water and that's a reasonably violent reaction in and of itself, because it releases gas.
Though the use of calcium carbide in fruits is banned, the practice continues unhindered in the wholesale market.
Calcium carbide is one of such compounds which can be a source of ethylene when introduced into the soil under the influence of soil moisture.
Other fluxes also may be used instead of limestone, such as fluorspar (calcium fluoride), soda ash (sodium carbonate), borax (sodium borate) and calcium carbide, but these additions are the rare exception today.
Nine European companies have been fined a total of 61,120,000 for taking part for three years in a cartel that harmonised prices and divided up the market for calcium carbide and magnesium reagents.
The chemicals included calcium carbide, arsenic and phosphorus.
The technology involves making timed additions of calcium carbide, together with optimally proportioned slag making and slag foaming additives, into the EAF during the steel melting and refining operation.
The plant, owned by the Guangxi Guangwei Chemical Company, mainly produces polyvinyl acetate, calcium carbide and vinyl acetate monomer - chemicals used in making paints, adhesives and coatings, Xinhua said.
Similarly, during the reduction reaction (1), calcium carbide CaC2 is formed on the interface with graphite [5].