# How does "calcium carbide" react with "water"?

Oct 31, 2016

Well it is simply an acid base reaction.

#### Explanation:

$C {a}^{2 +} {\left\{C \equiv C\right\}}^{2 -} + 2 {H}_{2} O \left(l\right) \rightarrow H C \equiv C H \left(g\right) \uparrow + 2 C a {\left(O H\right)}_{2} \left(a q\right)$

This reaction used to be the basis of the old miners' lamp. A miner would take a lump of the carbide, moisten it with a bit of water, stick it in a lantern on his helmet, and light the acetylene gas evolved to provide illumination.

$H C \equiv C H \left(g\right) + \frac{5}{2} {O}_{2} \left(g\right) \rightarrow 2 C {O}_{2} \left(g\right) + {H}_{2} O \left(l\right)$

Of course, the naked flame constituted a very significant safety hazard underground, in that combustible gas in the mine or the cave would ignite. Later versions enclosed the flame in gauze.