Silver acetylide explosive

A solid substance explodes under heating.

Scientific name: Silver acetylide rapidly decomposes under heating.


SILVER ACETYLIDE (explosive) demonstration

by Basco36

Взрыв ацетиленида серебра

by kemiallinenkoe

Silver Acetylide Explosion

by Orizont Chem


Wear eye protection goggles and gloves. Make sure there is nothing flammable nearby.

Always follow general safety recommendations. Please note that conducting chemistry experiments you must comply with the relevant legal procedures in your country.

Reaction formula

Ag2C2 → 2Ag + 2C


  1. Silver acetylide

Step-by-step instruction

WARNING! This experiment is dangerous! You should NOT perform this at home. ONLY carry out this experiment, if you are a trained chemist, and you understand local safety and legal requirements, which are required to perform such experiments

  1. Put a small piece of silver acetylide on a ceramic hot plate and stand back.
  2. The substance explodes rapidly.

Scientific background

Silver acetylide is a compound analogous to the well-known calcium carbide. It consists of two silver and two carbon atoms. Each silver atom is connected with carbon linked with anther carbon atom with a triple bond. This substance is very unstable. When it is heated the intramolecular redox reaction takes place. The silver atoms work as an oxidizer. Carbon atoms play the role of a reducing agent. As a result silver and carbon are produced.


Published on 09 September 2015

  • Fire
  • Heating with fire
  • Explosion
  • Poisoned gas
  • Organic
  • Electricity
  • Solution
  • Oxidation reduction
  • Color change
  • Precipitate
  • Gassing
  • Catalyst