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Exploding Acetylene Pumpkins! Halloween Science

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What would Halloween be without exploding pumpkins? In order to not find out, we enlisted Dan Plane, our resident pumpkin exploder, to investigate the explosive power of acetylene.
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Calcium carbide reacts with water producing acetylene gas which is highly flammable and an excellent fuel for blowing up pumpkins. It is made of calcium ions and carbide ions. When it comes into contact with water it the carbon atoms react with the hydrogen in the water to produce acetylene gas. The calcium in turn binds with the hydroxide group to produce calcium hydroxide.

Acetylene is a hydrocarbon that has applications, in welding, in portable lighting and as fuel for pumpkin explosions, among many others.

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