Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Industrial and Managements Systems Engineering

Committee Chair

Edward M Sabolsky

Committee Co-Chair

Ismail Celik

Committee Member

Bruce Kang


Acetylene is known as an essential chemical building block with increasing prominent applications as a raw material in the production of important organic compounds. An indirect method used to synthesize acetylene is through the decomposition of CaC2 in the presence of water. The current work investigated a process for the synthesis of calcium carbide via a solid-state reaction route and the general kinetics of the reaction was characterized. The calcium carbide was synthesized by conventional and microwave heating (6 kW, 2.45GHz) of micron-sized calcium oxide and carbon powders in argon. The temperature range for these reactions was between 1000--1800°C. The work succeeded in preparing CaC2 within several minutes using microwave heating. A well-crystallized product was obtained with purities as high as 90% CaC2. Three different phase were identified during the reactions depending upon the temperature regime; CaC2 II (at 1600°C), CaC2 II & III (at 1650°C) and CaC2 I, II & III (at 1700°C) were identified using a x-ray diffraction phase identification technique. The apparent activation energy calculated was found to be approximately 125.66 kJ·mol-1.;In addition to variation in reaction temperature, uniaxial pellet compaction load, reaction times, sample mass and heating rates were also varied. The influence of solid particle surface contact, carbon source reactivity and mold configuration were included in this investigation. The effects of the processing techniques and variables on the final density, microstructural properties and percent purity of the resulting products were characterized using the gas chromatograph, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction techniques.;Finally, the calcium carbide synthesized via microwave heating yielded 80% more carbide formed compared to conventionally processed carbide at 1600°C. The reaction kinetics was increased for all temperatures using the same feed amount. The density and degree of purity of the products were affected by reaction temperature and exposure time, starting particle size of the reactants and the dimension of the sample container.