A bright burner

When I read about them in my youth, there seemed something magical in the description of the acetylene or carbide lamps that were used on early motor vehicles. The idea that adding water to the lamp started a process that could generate a flame seemed wonderfully counter-intuitive.

But acetylene, the unusually triple bonded inflammable organic compound that was generated by a reaction between water and calcium carbide is more than just a flash in the lamp. Find out more about this zippy little molecule, in my latest Royal Society of Chemistry podcast.  Take a listen by clicking to pop over to its page on the RSC site.