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General

  • Calcium carbide is a chemical compound with the chemical formula CaC2. It has the appearance of grayish white lumps.

  • Calcium carbide is a rock-like solid, grayish / black in colour. Calcium carbide is a basic inorganic chemical intermediate, mainly used for the manufacture of acetylene

Technology

  • Indian Agricultural Research Institute has developed a method to inhibit this natural process of nitrogen transformation in paddy fields using encapsulated calcium carbide (ECC) grains alongwith nitrogenous fertilisers

Process

  • Calcium carbide (CaC2) is manufactured by mixture of lime and carbon in electric furnace

Market

  • The demand growth in Calcium carbide is driven by segments like DS compounds due to shift to high purity steel production with increase in production of steel across the country. The other users are DA gas and Tri- Chloro ethylene.
  • At present, in India, there are 8 major merchant manufacturers of calcium carbide with an installed capacity of 1.55 lac tonnes p.a.in the organised sector. Besides, there are over 50 small-scale units with an estimated capacity of 60,000 tonnes p.a..
  • The total market demand for calcium carbide is estimated to be around 85,000 tonnes. At present, there are no units of calcium carbide in the organised sector in the North Eastern region. Suppliers from Calcutta and Orissa are meeting the total demand for calcium carbide from this region.

Applications

  • Calcium carbide was used in carbide lamps, in which water drips on carbide and the formed acetylene is ignited. These lamps were of no use in coal mines where the presence of the explosive gas methane made them a serious hazard.

  • In the ripening of fruit, it is used as source of acetylene gas, which is a ripening agent (similar to ethylene).

  • It is used in the  Production of acetylene, Production of calcium cyanamide, Steelmaking, Carbide lamps

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