The properties of liquid and solid acetylene have been investigated by D.
Mixed with air, like every other combustible gas, acetylene forms an explosive mixture.
For example, ethylene, C2H4 j is formed with absorption of 16200 cal., acetylene, C 2 H 2, with absorption of 59100 cal., and liquid benzene, C 6 H 6, with absorption of 9100 cal.
Thus ethane gives H3C CH2 CH3, propane; ethylene gives H 2 C:CH CH 3, propylene; and acetylene gives HC: C CH 3, allylene.
It will be noticed that compounds containing two double linkages will have the same general formula as the acetylene series; such compounds are known as the " diolefines."
The homologues of acetylene condense more readily; thus allylene, CH: C CH 3, and crotonylene, CH 3.0: C CH 3, yield trimethyland hexamethyl-benzene under the influence of sulphuric acid.
Toluene or mono-methylbenzene results from the pyrocondensation of a mixture of acetylene and allylene.
Passed through a red-hot tube, benzene vapour yields hydrogen, diphenyl, diphenylbenzenes and acetylene; the formation of the last compound is an instance of a reversible reaction, since Berthelot found that acetylene passed through a red-hot tube gave some benzene.
It resembles acetylene in yielding metallic derivatives with ammoniacal copper and silver solutions.
Stilbene bromide when treated with alcoholic potash gives diphenyl acetylene or tolane, C6H5 C: C CsH5.
They found that if liquid acetylene in a steel bottle be heated at one point by a platinum wire raised to a red heat, the whole mass decomposes and gives rise to such tremendous pressures that no cylinder would be able to withstand them.
Continuing these experiments, they found that in acetylene gas under ordinary pressures the decomposition brought about in one portion of the gas, either by heat or the firing in it of a small detonator, did not spread far beyond the point at which the decomposition started, while if the acetylene was compressed to a pressure of more than 30 lb on the square inch, the decomposition travelled throughout the mass and became in reality detonation.
These results showed clearly that liquefied acetylene was far too dangerous for general introduction for domestic purposes, since, although the occasions would be rare in which the requisite temperature to bring about detonation would be reached, still, if this point were attained, the results would be of a most disastrous character.
The fact that several accidents had already happened accentuated the risk, and in Great Britain the storage and use of liquefied acetylene are prohibited.
When liquefied acetylene is allowed to escape from the cylinder in which it is contained into ordinary atmospheric pressure, some of the liquid assumes the gaseous condition with such rapidity as to cool the remainder below the temperature of - 90° C., and convert it into a solid snow-like mass.
Acetylene is readily soluble in water, which at normal temperature and pressure takes up a little more than its own volume of the gas, and yields a solution giving a purple-red precipitate with ammoniacal cuprous chloride and a white precipitate with silver nitrate, these precipitates consisting of acetylides of the metals.
The solubility of the gas in various liquids, as given by different observers, is zoo Volumes of Brine Water Alcohol Paraffin Carbon disulphide Fusel oil Benzene Chloroform Acetic acid Acetone It will be seen from this table that where it is desired to collect and keep acetylene over a liquid, brine, i.e.
Water saturated with salt, is the best for the purpose, but in practice it is found that, unless water is agitated with acetylene, or the gas bubbled through, the top layer soon gets saturated, and the gas then dissolves but slowly.
The great solubility of acetylene in acetone was pointed out by G.
Hess, who showed that acetone will absorb twenty-five times its own volume of acetylene at a temperature of 15° C. under atmospheric pressure, and that, providing the temperature is kept constant, the liquid acetone will go on absorbing acetylene at the rate of twentyfive times its own volume for every atmosphere of pressure to which the gas is subjected.
At first it seemed as if this discovery would do away with all the troubles connected with the storage of acetylene under pressure, but it was soon found that there were serious difficulties still to be overcome.
The chief trouble was that acetone expands a small percentage of its own volume while it is absorbing acetylene; therefore it is impossible to fill a cylinder with acetone and then force in acetylene, and still more impracticable only partly to fill the cylinder with acetone, as in that case the space above the liquid would be filled with acetylene under high pressure, and would have all the disadvantages of a cylinder containing compressed acetylene only.
This difficulty was overcome by first filling the cylinder with porous briquettes and then soaking them with a fixed percentage of acetone, so that after allowing for the space taken up by the bricks the quantity of acetone soaked into the brick will absorb ten times the normal volume of the cylinder in acetylene for every atmosphere of pressure to which the gas is subjected, whilst all danger of explosion is eliminated.
Paraffins are found in all crude oils, and olefines in varying proportions in the majority, while acetylene has been found in Baku oil; members of the benzene group and its derivatives, notably benzene and toluene, occur in all petroleums. Naphthenes are the chief components of some oils, as already indicated, and occur in varying quantities in many others.
B aeyer has suggested that his hypothesis may also be applied to explain the instability of acetylene and its derivatives, and the still greater instability of the polyacetylene compounds.
The trimolecular polymerization of numerous acetylene compounds-substances containing two trebly linked carbon atoms, -C: C -, to form derivatives of benzene is of considerable interest.
Berthelot first accomplished the synthesis of benzene in 1870 by leading acetylene, HC: CH, through tubes heated to dull redness; at higher temperatures the action becomes reversible, the benzene yielding diphenyl, diphenylbenzene, and acetylene.
It also results on condensing acetylene, and on reducing phenylacetylene by zinc dust and acetic acid.
This fact having been fully demonstrated, acetylene dissolved in this way was exempted from the Explosives Act, and consequently upon this exemption a large business has grown up in the preparation and use of dissolved acetylene for lighting motor omnibuses, motor cars, railway carriages, lighthouses, buoys, yachts, &c., for which it is particularly adapted.
Acetylene was at one time supposed to be a highly poisonous gas, the researches of A.
Crismer, and others, all conclusively show that acetylene is much less toxic than carbon monoxide, and indeed than coal gas.
When acetylene was first introduced on a commercial scale grave fears were entertained as to its safety, it being represented that it had the power of combining with certain metals, more especially copper and silver, to form acetylides of a highly explosive character, and that even with coal gas, which contains less than i %, such copper compounds had been known to be formed in cases where the gas-distributing mains were composed of copper, and that accidents had happened from this cause.
It was therefore predicted that the introduction of acetylene on a large scale would be followed by numerous accidents unless copper and its alloys were rigidly excluded from contact with the gas.
Acetylene has the property of inflaming spontaneously when brought in contact with chlorine.
A, l by the action of water upon calcium carbide, prepared}' p fire as they reach the surface, and if a jet of acetylene be passed up into a bottle of chlorine it takes fire and burns with a heavy red flame, depositing its carbon in the form of soot.
If chlorine be bubbled up into a jar of acetylene standing over water, a violent explosion, attended with a flash of intense light and the deposition of carbon, at once takes place.
Acetylene is readily decomposed by heat, polymerizing under its influence to form an enormous number of organic of compounds; indeed the gas, which can itself be directly prepared from its constituents, carbon and hydrogen, under the influence of the electric arc, can be made the startingpoint for the construction of an enormous number of different organic compounds of a complex character.
Picric acid can also be obtained from it by first treating acetylene with sulphuric acid, converting the product into phenol by solution in potash and then treating the phenol with fuming nitric acid.
The observation that acetylene can be resolved into its constituents by detonation is due to Berthelot, who started an explosive wave in it by firing a charge of oï¿½i gram of mercury fulminate.
Heated in contact with air to a temperature of 480° C., acetylene ignites and burns with a flame, the appearance of which varies with the way in which it is brought in contact with the air.
For its complete combustion a volume of acetylene needs approximately twelve volumes of air, forming as products of combustion carbon dioxide and water vapour.
This is well shown by taking a cylinder one-half full of acetylene and one-half of air; on applying a light to the mixture a lurid flame runs down the cylinder and a cloud of soot is thrown up, the cylinder also being thickly coated with it, and often containing a ball of carbon.
It is probable that when a flame is smoking badly, distinct traces of carbon monoxide are being produced, but when an acetylene flame burns properly the products are as harmless as those of coal gas, and, light for light, less in amount.
The methods which can be and have been employed from time to time for the formation of acetylene in small quantities are exceedingly numerous.
This on being washed and decomposed with hydrochloric acid yielded a stream of acetylene gas.
Edmund Davy first made acetylene in 1836 from a compound produced during the manufacture of potassium from potassium tartrate and charcoal, which under certain conditions yielded a black compound decomposed by water with considerable violence and the evolution of acetylene.
The cheap production of this material and the easy liberation by its aid of acetylene at once gave the gas a position of commercial importance.
It can be kept unaltered in dry air, but the smallest trace of moisture in the atmosphere leads to the evolution of minute quantities of acetylene and gives it a distinctive odour.
Acted upon by water it is at once decomposed, yielding acetylene and calcium hydrate.
Pure crystalline calcium carbide yields 5.8 cubic feet of acetylene per pound at ordinary temperatures, but the carbide as sold commercially, being a mixture of the pure crystalline material with the crust which in the electric furnace surrounds the ingot, yields at the best 5 cubic feet of gas per pound under proper conditions of generation.
The purity of the carbide entirely depends on the purity of the material used in its manufacture, and before this fact had been fully grasped by manufacturers, and only the purest material obtainable employed, it contained notable quantities of compounds which during its decomposition by water yielded a somewhat high pro portion of impurities in the acetylene generated from it.
Amongst endothermic compounds may be noted hydriodic acid, HI, acetylene, C 2 H 2, nitrous oxide, N 2 O, nitric oxide, NO, azoimide, N 3 H, nitrogen trichloride, NC1 3.
P. 375) applied in Russia to the manufacture of alcohol, by a series of chemical reactions starting from the production of acetylene by the action of water upon calcium carbide.
ACETYLENE, klumene or ethine, a gaseous compound of carbon and hydrogen, represented by the formula C 2 H 2.
The volume of the gas, but in the United States and on the continent of Europe, where liquefied acetylene was made on the large scale, several fatal accidents occurred owing to its explosion under not easily explained conditions.
Vieille made a series of valuable researches upon the explosion of acetylene under various conditions.