Barium carbide

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barium carbide
Barium carbide formula.png
IUPAC name
Barium ethynediide
Other names
Barium acetylide
3D model (JSmol)
EC Number
  • 235-126-7
  • InChI=1S/C2.Ba/c1-2;/q-2;+2
  • [C-]#[C-].[Ba+2]
Molar mass 161.35 g/mol
Appearance black crystalline solid
Density 3.75 g/cm3
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).

Barium carbide (also referred to as barium ethynediide or barium acetylide)[1] is a chemical compound in the carbide family with the chemical formula BaC2.[2]


Barium carbide can be synthesized as an impure compound by reducing barium carbonate powder with metallic magnesium in the presence of carbon-14.[3] Carbon-14 containing barium carbide can also be made by reducing 14C carbon dioxide with hot barium metal at 600°C.[4] These methods are used because of their high yield, and because the carbide is used to make acetylene. Carbon-14 is not something to turn into a waste product. It can also be prepared by heating a Barium amalgam and Carbon powder mixture in a Hydrogen current. The pure compound is prepared by reducing Barium oxide with Carbon at a high temperature.[5]


Barium carbide reacts similarly to calcium carbide,[6] but it's more fusible. When exposed to extreme heat, the barium will evaporate leaving behind crystals of graphite. It can also absorb the carbon in a solution at high temperatures.[5]


Barium carbide can cause damage to the GI tract and irritation in the skin and eyes.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Barium acetylide | C2Ba | ChemSpider". Retrieved 2019-12-17.
  2. ^ Elements, American. "Barium Carbide". American Elements. Retrieved 2019-12-11.
  3. ^ Mishin, V. I.; Georgievskij, S. S.; Eksel', L. M.; Koval', A. I.; Afanas'eva, L. A.; Puchkov, L. D.; Ulybin, V. B. (1989-12-07). "Method for preparation of barium carbide labelled by carbon 14" (in Russian). {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ Arrol, W. J.; Glascock, R. (1948). "308. The conversion of carbon dioxide into acetylene on the scale of 2—20 micromoles". J. Chem. Soc. 3: 1534–1537. doi:10.1039/JR9480001534. PMID 18101450.
  5. ^ a b "Barium Carbide, BaC2". Retrieved 2019-12-11.
  6. ^ "carbide". InfoPlease. Retrieved 2019-12-11.