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Acetylene Formula

Last updated date: 18th May 2024
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Acetylene Chemical Formula

Acetylene can be defined as the simplest alkyne, alternatively, it is also defined as the simplest hydrocarbon. Acetylene is more commonly known as ethylene. The chemical formula of ethyne is also known as the molecular formula of ethyne. The chemical formula of the compound is represented as C2H2. The C2H2 chemical name suggests that the compound is made up of carbon and hydrogen. The bond between two carbon and hydrogen is a triple bond. Thus making it an unsaturated chemical compound. Acetylene is a colourless and odourless gas in its purest state, but due to difficulty in handling, they are used in a liquid state for commercial purposes. They are the main component of the fuel and serves as the building block for many chemical compounds.

The article focuses on the chemical formula of ethylene or acetylene, the structural formula of ethylene, chemical, and physical properties, and also the chemical reaction they are involved in. 

Formula of Ethyne 

The formula of ethyne includes the chemical formula of ethyne and the structural formula of ethyne. The acetylene chemical formula can be represented as C2H2. the C2H2 chemical name suggests that the compound is the simplest hydrocarbon. It is also referred to as alkyne. The specific feature of acetylene is the presence of a triple bond present in between the two carbon atoms, which can be represented in the structural formula of ethylene.  The triple bond is at 180 degrees giving it a straight conformation. The angle between two carbon atoms of the acetylene structural formula represents the bond angle between them. IUPAC name of acetylene  or ethyne is acetylene, The structural formula of ethylene can be represented as the following

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As represented in the structural formula of ethyne, it also indicates that the chemical compound is a symmetrical molecule. 

Preparation of Acetylene (Ethyne)

The acetylene can be produced using various preparative methods. Acetylene is also produced as a side product. Historically acetylene was produced as a by-product of ethylene production through hydrocarbon cracking. The methods of ethyne production are listed below.

  1. Produced by partial combustion of methane.

  2. Produced as a refined byproduct during ethylene production

  3. Hydrolysis of chemical carbide is the widely used industrial preparative method of acetylene.

  4. Produced by the dehydrohalogenation of alkyl dihalides.

  5. They are also produced from vicinal dihalides

Preparation From Calcium Carbide

Since it is the most commonly used method for industrial manufacture of ethyne it is necessary to have an understanding of it.  This method includes the hydrolysis of calcium carbide. The only critical requirement is the high temperature of about 2000 °C, for the production of calcium carbide. The chemical reaction involved in the production can be represented as follows

CaC2 + 2H2O → Ca(OH)2 + C2H2

Chemical Properties 

The chemical properties of acetylene include the acetylene formula, molecular weight, bond angle, the reactions of the compound, the molecular mass of the compound, and the empirical formula of acetylene. The chemical properties of a compound give the understanding of the reactions of the compound, there are the following chemical properties of acetylene that are listed below.

  1. The acetylene formula or the empirical formula of acetylene can be represented as C2H2

  2. The molecular weight of the compound is 26.04 g/mol.

  3. The hydrogen bond donor count is 0

  4. The hydrogen bond acceptor count is 0

  5. There is no rotatable bond present.

  6. They are unsaturated organic compounds due to the triple bond as represented in the structural formula of ethyne.

  7. The bond angle is 180 degrees.

  8. The chemical compound is categorized as the symmetrical compound.

  9.  The C2H2 chemical name suggests that the compound is an alkyne.

  10. The conjugate acid of acetylene is Ethynium.

Physical Property

The physical property of the organic compounds is defined on the basis of the molecular formula of acetylene. The physical properties of a compound include melting point, boiling point, density, physical appearance, and crystal structure. Some of the physical properties are mentioned as follows.

  1. The boiling point of the compound is -119 °F at 760 mm Hg or alternatively can be defined as -84.7 °C

  2. The organic compound is generally (purely) found in the gaseous state

  3. Acetylene is a colourless gas

  4. The pure form of the compound does not have any smell, whereas the industrially produced liquid form has a  faint smell of ether.

  5. The acetylene does not have any melting point because in the natural atmospheric pressure it can not exist in the liquid state.

  6. The melting point at minimal atmospheric pressure of 1.27atm is −80.8 °C.

  7. It is soluble in water and slightly soluble in ethanol, carbon disulfide; soluble in acetone, benzene, chloroform.

  8. The molecular shape of the compound based on the ethyne molecular formula is defined as a linear structure.

  9. The density of acetylene is 1.1772 g/L or 1.1772 kg/m3

Chemical Reaction

Acetylene is involved in the following chemical reactions. Vinylation, hydration, hydrohalogenation, addition to formaldehyde, carbonylation, organometallic chemistry and, acid-base reactions.


Acetylene is a very reactive compound and was used as a main component of fuel for a very long time, they are also reported to be used in the explosive. There are following uses of the acetylene chemical compound, they are as follows

  1. They are used in welding.

  2. It is used in portable lighting.

  3. It is used in the production of plastics and acrylic acid derivatives.

  4. It is used in the radiocarbon dating process

  5. It is used in the production of polyacetylene that is considered the first natural semiconductor.


Acetylene is also known as ethyne is an organic compound, it can be defined as an alkyne. The acetylene formula (the empirical formula of acetylene) can be represented as C2H2. the chemical compound can be produced using several methods the most commonly used method is the hydrolysis of calcium carbide. Another commercially important method of production is the partial combustion of methane. The conjugate acid of the compound is ethynium. In its natural state, the chemical compound is a colourless, odourless gas, but due to difficulty in handling, they are commercially used as liquids.

FAQs on Acetylene Formula

1. What is the Molecular Weight of Acetylene?

Ans- The molecular formula of ethyne or acetyl is C2H2. The molecular weight calculated from this acetylene formula is  26.04 g/mol.

2. What is the Conjugate Acid of Acetylene?

Ans- The conjugate acid of acetylene is ethynium.

3. Is Acetylene a Saturated Acid?

Ans- Acetylene is considered an unsaturated organic compound due to the presence of a triple bond between the two carbon atoms.