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Friedrich Wöhler (1836) and Pierre Eugène Berthelot (1862) were the first to extensivly write about carbide, calcium carbide actually. In 1892, it was first prepared in the laboratory by Thomas L. Wilson in America and subsequently by Henry Moissan in Paris. Industrial manufacturing of calcium carbide started in 1895 at Aluminiumindustrie AG Neuhausen (Switzerland) and was taken up later in 1898 simultaneously in Norway and Germany (Rheinfelden).

Carbide is insoluble in any solvent but reacts violently with water to form acetylene and calcium hydroxide.

Recommended Learning Units

Acetylene: Production and UseLevel 230 min.

ChemistryOrganic ChemistryAlkynes

Several methods of acetylene production as well as applications of acetylene as important raw material are described.