A colorless, extremely flammable gas with a detectable garlic like odor. In its free state, acetylene may violently decompose if the pressure of the gas exceeds 15 psig. Acetylene is shipped and store dissolved in acetone.
In the United States and Canada, calcium carbide is the principal raw material for acetylene manufacture. Calcium carbide and water may be made to react by several methods to produce acetylene. Acetylene is also manufactured by the thermal or arc cracking of hydrocarbons and by a process employing the partial combustion of methane with oxygen.
Approximately 80% of the acetylene produced annually in the United States is used in chemical synthesis. The remaining 20% is used principally in welding and cutting.
There are several grades of acetylene as well as cylinder sizes to accommodate most end users' needs.