Acetylene Shortage Explanation
Posted on: April 11, 2011
Dear ILMO Customers,
The following is background information on the current acetylene shortage in the United States. Please continue to visit this news site for information directly from ILMO Products Company. As this situation develops, we will post updates to keep you informed. We also encourage you to use this site to post comments to one another, to contact us directly with questions, or to share your alternative fuel gas story.
On Monday, March 21, 2011, an explosion occurred at the Carbide Industries, LLC (CI) plant in Louisville, Kentucky. CI is the nation's primary supplier of calcium carbide. The explosion severely damaged the largest calcium carbide furnace in the Americas, ceasing all production at this plant and disrupting future production, which is expected to last for a significant and indefinite period of time.
Calcium carbide is the raw material used in the generation of acetylene gas, and therefore the implications for industry-wide availability of acetylene are significant. While some acetylene plants had a supply of calcium carbide on-hand (at the time of the explosion) to continue production, the supply was limited and in most cases, has now been or is near being depleted. ILMO Products Company has been fortunate to maintain a supply of acetylene (see Acetylene Supply Update below). Looking forward, acetylene producers have been pursuing foreign sources for calcium carbide to minimize the disruption in acetylene production while gas distributors such as ILMO have been increasing awareness and supply of alternative fuel options for customers.
To see a video and photo gallery relating to the explosion, click here to visit the website of WHAS11 News in Louisville, Kentucky.