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Acetylene (systematic name: ethyne) is the chemical compound with the formula C2H2. It is a hydrocarbon and the simplest alkyne.


  • With the start of the industrial production of acetaldehyde by acetylene hydration in 1916, acetylene became one of the most important raw materials for coal-based chemistry in the first half of the 20th century. However, the move from coal chemistry to petrochemistry made ethylene and propylene incomparably more important than acetylene.[…] Conversions starting with acetylene are rather underdeveloped compared with many other fields in catalysis, which offers the possibility for significant improvement by applying modern concepts, new materials, and state-of-the-art process technology. In order to reduce our society’s dependence on oil-derived feedstocks, acetylene could serve as a platform molecule that can be transformed into various base chemicals. This should not be seen as a step back to coal chemistry but rather a step toward a diversified chemical industry where acetylene is a valuable molecule that can be selectively transformed to materials guaranteeing our prosperity.
    • Ioan-Teodor Trotuş, Tobias Zimmermann, and Ferdi Schüth, "Catalytic Reactions of Acetylene: A Feedstock for the Chemical Industry Revisited." Chemical reviews 114.3 (2013): 1761-1782.
  • In ethyne, the two carbons are sp hybridized. (...) One of the hybrid orbitals on each carbon overlaps with hydrogen, and a σ bond between the two carbon atoms results from mutual overlap of the remaining sp hybrids. The two perpendicular p orbitals on each carbon contain one electron each. These two sets overlap to form two perpendicular π bonds.
    • K. Peter C. Vollhardt, Neil E. Schore (2011) Organic chemistry : structure and function 6th ed. Ch. 13 : Alkynes
  • In summary, we have carried out a combined QM calculation and MD simulation study to better understand the removal mechanism of C2H2 from a C2H4 stream by [BMIM][OAc]. Based on the calculated interaction energies, it is proposed that both C2H2 and C2H4 molecules prefer to link to the anion of IL via the hydrogen bonding interaction between an acidic proton of C2H2/C2H4 and the basic oxygen atom in [OAc] − and link to the cation of IL via the C−H···π interaction between the C−H bond of C2H2/C2H4 and the imidazolium ring of the cation. However, the interaction of C2H2 with the cation, anion, and ion pair are found to be stronger than those of C2H4.
    • Hao Xu, Zhe Han, Dongju Zhang, and Jinhua Zhan, "Interface Behaviors of Acetylene and Ethylene Molecules with 1-Butyl-3-methylimidazolium Acetate Ionic Liquid: A Combined Quantum Chemistry Calculation and Molecular Dynamics Simulation Study." ACS applied materials & interfaces 4.12 (2012): 6646-6653.

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