Acetylene gas plants generate acetylene for meeting the demand of industrial and commercial requirements. Acetylene gas has many properties and characteristics that are very useful for application in industries. The gas mainly used in chemical synthesis. And, the second main use of acetylene is welding and cutting.
Important uses of acetylene
Acetylene constitutes important part of various crucial processes in industries. Presently the use of acetylene has declined; however, the scope for its application is quite extensive. Numerous studies are being done to increase the use of acetylene. It is an important natural gas that can be put it various applications including:-
Now-a-days, it is widely used in welding, grazing and cutting. Oxy- fuel cutting or gas cutting is a welding process which uses acetylene gas. It is used for cutting and welding materials that need temperatures as high as 3,500 °C (6,330 °F). It is known for generating the hottest flame. The gas is also used as a medium for heat treating metals and other materials. Moreover, it is also used in manufacturing automotive parts and various other parts requiring high precision.
Acetylene was used during 1800s for lighting light a portable lamp known as a carbide or acetylene gas lamp. These lampas were used in homes, cars, bicycles, etc. They were also used in mines. Even cities and towns were these lamps for lightning. The lamps used calcium carbide and water to generate acetylene. The flow of acetylene is carefully monitored to manage the amount of acetylene used. The amount of acetylene used determined the intensity of the light.
Acetylene is mostly used in chemical synthesis. It is used for making various inorganic compounds. The gas has various applications such as synthesis of certain vitamins like Vitamin A and E. Acetylene is also used for making components of perfumes, solvents, etc. It is also used in producing acetic acid, 1,4- butanediol (BDO), many acetylenic alcohols, etc. However, it must be noted that the purity levels of acetylene should be strictly adhered to while producing these chemicals and vitamins.
Polyethylene plastics, PVC and PVDF are made from ethylene or methane, which is a derivative of acetylene. The other method entails mixing acetylene with other chemicals or elements like chlorine, hydrochloric acid, etc. to produce different variants of plastic like PVC, PVDF, etc. These plastics are used for making several household and commercial products.
Acetylene reacts strongly with oxygen or impurities that can result in massive explosions. The production process should be smooth and safe. If the acetylene is not pure in the production process, it can result in a product that can change very quickly. So it is essential that the purity of acetylene produced is maintained. For example, the acetylene used in chemical synthesis should not contain more than 0.5% of impurities. It is called Grade A acetylene and for oxy-cutting or heat treating processes the acetylene used is of lower grade. Grade B acetylene can contain up to 2% impurities. The gases can be refined to a great extent.
Acetylene is extremely explosive whether it is in solid or liquid form. So, you must take great precautions while manufacturing acetylene for making chemical or other products. Acetylene cylinders should be handled with care as well.