Aerial View of the Niacet Plant.Notice on the left is Electrometallurgicalís property.The piles of ore are for smelting.

 

One of the principle products which was manufactured from acetylene was vinyl acetate.

This was manufactured by an appropriately named company Niacet (an acronym for Niagara Acetylene).Niacet was a division of the giant Union Carbide and Carbon Chemicals Corporation.The technology was explained to me during the course of a science congress project.It involved the reaction of acetylene gas counter current to a flow of acetic acid mixed with sulfuric acid catalyzed by mercuric acetate.The by-product was acetaldehyde which you could small a block away on Buffalo Ave.

Vinyl acetate was polymerized, by emulsion polymerization to polyvinyl acetate and then reacted with butyraldehyde to polyvinyl butyral which was the layer in laminated safety glass to prevent glass from shattering.There were many other projects at this plant such as Tergitol surfactants, meta-aminoacetophenone (pharmaceutical), sodium acetate anhydrous, Sodium phenoxyacetate is a precursor for semi-synthetic penicillinís.