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Calcium carbide

Uses Description Reaction with water Production method
Calcium carbide
Calcium carbide structure
Chemical Name:
Calcium carbide
carbide;ELECTROLITE;Acetylenogen;Calciumcarbid;carburocalcico;carburo calcic;ethyne,calciuM;CALCIUM CARBIDE;Acetylenestones;calciumdicarbide
Molecular Formula:
Formula Weight:
MOL File:

Calcium carbide Properties

Melting point:
Boiling point:
2.22 g/mL at 25 °C(lit.)
storage temp. 
water-free area
Specific Gravity
Water Solubility 
Moisture Sensitive
Stability Reacts violently with water liberating highly flammable gas (acetylene). Do not use water if this material is involved in a fire. Incompatible with moisture, water, strong oxidizing agents, alcohols, hydrogen chloride, magnesium.
EPA Substance Registry System
Calcium carbide (Ca(C2))(75-20-7)
  • Risk and Safety Statements
  • Hazard and Precautionary Statements (GHS)
  • NFPA
Hazard Codes  F
Risk Statements  15-41-37/38
Safety Statements  8-43-43A-39-26
RIDADR  UN 1402 4.3/PG 2
WGK Germany  1
HazardClass  4.3
PackingGroup  II
HS Code  28491000
Hazardous Substances Data 75-20-7(Hazardous Substances Data)
Signal word: Danger
Hazard statements:
Code Hazard statements Hazard class Category Signal word Pictogram P-Codes
H260 In contact with water releases flammable gases which may ignite spontaneously Substances And Mixtures Which, In Contact With Water,Emit Flammable Gases Category 1 Danger P223, P231+P232, P280, P335+ P334,P370+P378, P402+P404, P501
H261 In contact with water releases flammable gas Substances And Mixtures Which, In Contact With Water,Emit Flammable Gases Category 2
Category 3
P231+P232, P280, P370+P378,P402+P404, P501
H315 Causes skin irritation Skin corrosion/irritation Category 2 Warning P264, P280, P302+P352, P321,P332+P313, P362
H318 Causes serious eye damage Serious eye damage/eye irritation Category 1 Danger P280, P305+P351+P338, P310
H335 May cause respiratory irritation Specific target organ toxicity, single exposure;Respiratory tract irritation Category 3 Warning
Precautionary statements:
P223 Keep away from any possible contact with water, because of violent reaction and possible flash fire.
P261 Avoid breathing dust/fume/gas/mist/vapours/spray.
P280 Wear protective gloves/protective clothing/eye protection/face protection.
P231+P232 Handle under inert gas. Protect from moisture.
P305+P351+P338 IF IN EYES: Rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Remove contact lenses, if present and easy to do. Continuerinsing.
P370+P378 In case of fire: Use … for extinction.
P405 Store locked up.
P422 Store contents under …

NFPA 704

Diamond Hazard Value Description
3 0
Health   3 Short exposure could cause serious temporary or moderate residual injury (e.g. liquid hydrogen, sulfuric acid, calcium hypochlorite, hexafluorosilicic acid)
Flammability   3 Liquids and solids (including finely divided suspended solids) that can be ignited under almost all ambient temperature conditions . Liquids having a flash point below 22.8 °C (73 °F) and having a boiling point at or above 37.8 °C (100 °F) or having a flash point between 22.8 and 37.8 °C (73 and 100 °F). (e.g. gasoline, acetone)
Instability   0 Normally stable, even under fire exposure conditions, and is not reactive with water (e.g. helium,N2)
Special   W

(NFPA, 2010)

Calcium carbide price More Price(6)

Manufacturer Product number Product description CAS number Packaging Price Updated Buy
Sigma-Aldrich 21039 Calcium carbide granulated, technical, ≥75% (gas-volumetric) 75-20-7 100g-f $50.5 2018-11-13 Buy
Sigma-Aldrich 21039 Calcium carbide granulated, technical, ≥75% (gas-volumetric) 75-20-7 1kg-f $98.5 2018-11-13 Buy
Alfa Aesar 014308 Calcium carbide 75-20-7 *5x1kg $209 2018-11-16 Buy
Alfa Aesar 014308 Calcium carbide 75-20-7 1kg $48.2 2018-11-16 Buy
Sigma-Aldrich 270296 Calcium carbide pieces, thickness <10 mm , typically, technical grade, ~80% 75-20-7 500g $43.1 2018-11-13 Buy

Calcium carbide Chemical Properties,Uses,Production


Industry Applications Benefit
Chemical manufacture Production of acetylene gas Raw materials,CaC2 + 2 H2O → C2H2 + Ca(OH)2
Production of calcium cyanamide Raw materials, CaC2 + N2 → CaCN2 + C
Production of various acetylene derivatives Source of acetylene gas
Production of calcium hydroxide Raw materials, CaC2 + 2 H2O → C2H2 + Ca(OH)2
Steel production The desulfurisation of iron (pig iron, cast iron and steel) Desulfurization agent
As a fuel in steelmaking Extend the scrap ratio to liquid iron
Ladle treatment facilities A powerful deoxidizer
Mining, automobiles and street lighting Carbide lamps React with water to make acetylene gas, which can burn to glow
Fruit Artificial ripening fruit Source of acetylene gas
Signal flares Floating, self-igniting naval signal flares Used together with calcium phosphide
Cylinder gas Metal fabrication and construction Source of acetylene gas
Experiment teaching Teaching reagent Experiment reagent


Calcium carbide (molecule formula: CaC2), is a kind of important chemical raw materials produced from the chemical processing of limestone. In 1892, H. Maysan (French) and H. Wilson (United state) simultaneously developed a calcium carbide production approach based on furnace Reduction. The United State had successfully achieved industrial production in 1895. The property of calcium carbide is related to its purity. Its industrial product is mostly the mixture of calcium carbide and calcium oxide, and also contains trace amounts of sulfur, phosphorus, nitrogen and other impurities. With the increasing content of impurities, it color exhibits gray, brown to black. The melting point and electrical conductivity both decrease with the decrease of the purity. The purity of its industrial product is usually 80% with m.p. being 1800~2000 °C. At room temperature, it does not react with air, but it can have oxidation reaction at above 350 ℃, and have reaction with nitrogen at 600~700 ℃ to generate calcium cyanamide. Calcium carbide, when coming across with water or steam, generates acetylene and release a large amount of heating. CaC2 + 2H2O─ → C2H2 + Ca (OH) 2 + 125185.32J, 1kg of pure calcium carbide can produce 366 L of acetylene 366l (15 ℃, 0.1MPa). Thereby, for its storage: calcium carbide should be strictly kept away from water. It is usually packed in a sealed iron container, and sometimes stored in a dry warehouse being filled with nitrogen if necessary.
Electric furnace reduction method is the only method for industrial production of calcium carbide at present. Put calcium oxide and coke for reduction reaction at 2000~2200 ℃: CaO + 3C─ → CaC2 + CO-480644.64J, the resulting molten calcium carbide flow into the receiver tank from the bottom of the reactor, and we obtain the final product after cooling. Calcium carbide production belongs to high temperature operation with relative large amount dust being produced and consuming a large amount of electrical energy. In 1980s, the production of per ton of calcium carbide consumes industrial power of about 10~11GJ. In order to reduce the power consumption, people mostly apply large-scale and closed calcium carbide furnace to reduce heat loss and also do good to the recycling of carbon monoxide.

Reaction with water

Calcium carbide will immediately have reaction upon coming across with water, generating acetylene and calcium hydroxide, which is the approach of industrial preparation of acetylene (carbide method), the reaction equation is:
CaC2 + 2H2O = C2H2 + Ca (OH) 2.
Since the impurity of calcium carbide, the generated acetylene gas is usually mixed with a small amount of hydrogen sulfide, phosphine gas and other contaminants, so there is a bad smell. Calcium carbide is produced from the lime and coke in an electric furnace at a high temperature of 3000 ℃:
3C + CaO = CaC2 + CO.
Upon the laboratory preparation of acetylene, owing to the reaction between calcium carbide and water is very fierce, we can apply saturated brine to substitute water so that a pure and smooth airflow of acetylene can be obtained. Calcium carbide won’t have reaction with sodium chloride.

Production method

Electric furnace reduction method is the only method for the production of calcium carbide in the industry at present. This approach has achieved industrial production in early 1895 (US). The production process demands high-temperature operation with yielding a large amount of dusts and large power consumption. The technology improvements can improve the operating conditions, reduce the heat loss and improve the recovery efficiency of carbon monoxide. People mostly apply closed and large of calcium carbide furnace. Crash the coke and lime, mixed evenly according to the proportion and add into closed calcium carbide furnace, give electricity for heating and perform reduced reaction at 2000-2200 ℃, generating molten calcium carbide, and flowing into the electric furnace from inside furnace, cool, crush and pack. Kg/ton of coke (84% of fixed carbon) 550 limestone (92% of CaO) 840 electric electrode paste, 3200 (kWh/ton).

Chemical Properties

grey or black solid with a garlic-like odour


used as desulfurizer and dehydrant of steel and for cutting and welding metals.?in organic synthesis industry, Acetylene obtanied from calcium carbide is raw material to make ethylene, chloroprene rubber, calcium cyanamide, acetic acd, acetaldehydr, ethylacetate, cyanide acetate, dicyandiamide, acetone, octanol, trichloride ethylene etc


Generating acetylene gas for lighting purposes (1 kg of carbide yields ~300 liters acetylene); as reducing agent, e.g., for direct reduction of copper sulfide to metallic copper; signal fires for marine service; manufacture of calcium, iron, alloys, lampblack, cyanamide; welding and cutting metals.


It is used to produce acetylene gas in numerousapplications. Also, it is used as a reducingagent to produce metals from their salts.

General Description

Grayish-black irregular lump solid. Used to make acetylene and in steel manufacture.

Air & Water Reactions

Reacts rapidly with water to generate the flammable gas acetylene and the base calcium hydroxide. Enough heat may be generated to ignite the gas [Jones, G.W. BM Report Invest. 3755 1944].

Reactivity Profile

Calcium carbide is a reducing agent. May react vigorously with oxidizing materials. The powdered mixture of the acetylide and iron oxide and iron chloride burns violently upon ignition, producing molten iron. Calcium carbide incandesces with chlorine, bromine, or iodine at 245, 350, or 305°C., respectively, [Mellor, 1946, Vol. 5, 862]. The carbide burns incandescently when mixed and heated with lead difluoride, magnesium, hydrogen chloride, and tin (II) chloride, [Mellor, 1946, 1940, 1946, and 1941], respectively. Interaction of Calcium carbide with methanol to give calcium methoxide is vigorous , but subject to an induction period of variable length. Once reaction starts, evolution of acetylene gas is very rapid, unpublished observations [Bretherick 1995]. Mixing Calcium carbide with silver nitrate solutions forms silver acetylide, a highly sensitive explosive. Copper salt solutions would behave similarly, [Photogr. Sci. Eng., 1966, 10, 334]. The mixture of Calcium carbide and sodium peroxide is explosive, as is Calcium carbide and perchloryl fluoride as gases at 100-300°C.


Forms flammable and explosive gas and corrosive solid with moisture.

Health Hazard

It is a corrosive solid. Because it is highlywater-reactive, skin contact can cause burn.

Health Hazard

Eye and skin irritation

Fire Hazard

Behavior in Fire: If wet by water, highly flammable acetylene gas is formed.

Safety Profile

Reaction on contact with moisture forms explosive acetylene gas. Flammable on contact with moisture, acid or acid fumes; evolves heat or flammable vapors. Moderate explosion hazard. Incandescent reaction with Cl2 (245℃), Brz (350℃), IS (305℃), HCl gas + heat, PbF2, Mg + heat. Incompatible with Se, (KOH + Ch), AgNO3, Na2O2, SnCl2, S, water. Mixtures with iron(IⅡ) chloride, iron(IⅡ) oxide, tin(Ⅱ) chloride are easily ignited and burn fiercely. Vigorous reaction with methanol after an induction period. Addttion to silver nitrate solutions precipitates the dangerously explosive silver acetylide. Copper salt solutions behave similarly. See also CALCIUM HYDROXIDE and ACETYLENE.

Calcium carbide Preparation Products And Raw materials

Raw materials

Preparation Products

Calcium carbide Suppliers

Global( 107)Suppliers
Supplier Tel Fax Email Country ProdList Advantage
Henan DaKen Chemical CO.,LTD.
+86-371-55531817 CHINA 21968 58
Henan Tianfu Chemical Co.,Ltd.
0371-55170693 CHINA 20680 55
Mainchem Co., Ltd.
+86-0592-6210733 CHINA 32457 55
Xiamen AmoyChem Co., Ltd
+86 (0)592-605 1114 CHINA 6374 58
Sino Chem Mongolia Alliance Ltd. +86-131-10056998
+86-022-23686656 China 9 60
Meryer (Shanghai) Chemical Technology Co., Ltd. +86-(0)21-61259100(Shanghai) +86-(0)755-86170099(ShenZhen) +86-(0)10-62670440(Beijing)
+86-(0)21-61259102(Shanghai) +86-(0)755-86170066(ShenZhen) +86-(0)10-88580358(Beijing) China 40277 62
Alfa Aesar 400-610-6006; 021-67582000
021-67582001/03/05 China 30168 84
Beijing dtftchem Technology Co., Ltd. 13651141086; 86(10)60275028、60275820
86 (10) 60270825 China 3395 62
Energy Chemical 021-58432009 / 400-005-6266
021-58436166-800 China 44046 61
Beijing Ouhe Technology Co., Ltd +86-10-4006331231;+86-10-51280831;+86-10-82967028
+86-10-82967029 China 12500 60

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