Carbon Facts

Michael Bryan

Michael Bryan

03 Jan 2020

carbon on white background
  1. Carbon is a chemical element with the symbol C.
  2. Carbon is non-metallic. On the other hand, it’s also tetravalent (an atom with four electrons).
  3. The atomic number of carbon is 6 (six). Thus, it belongs to group 14 of the periodic table.
  4. Carbon forms the very base of organic chemistry.
  5. The 15th most abundant element is carbon in the earth’s crust. Furthermore, carbon is the 4th most abundant element in the universe by mass.
  1. Carbon comes from the Latin word ‘Carbo’ which means ‘Coal’.
  2. Carbon is an important part of the human body. Thus, the human bodies are 18.5% carbon, by weight.
  3. Carbon’s boiling point is 3,825°C (6,917°F).
  4. Carbon’s melting point is 3,550°C (6,422°F).
  5. Carbon’s atomic weight is 12.0107 while its density is 2.2670 grams per cubic centimeter.
  6. There are 15 isotopes in the carbon. Moreover, it has 2 stable isotopes, which are atoms of the same element with a different number of neutrons.
  7. Carbon is a pattern maker. Thus, carbon can link to itself, forming long, resilient chains of polymers (a molecule composed of repeated subunits).
  8. Carbon forms more compounds than any other element and forms the basis for animal life and plants. Likewise, it is considered one of the most important elements of life on Earth.
  9. Carbon comes in the form of transparent diamonds and gray graphite. The most common color of pure carbon, however, is black.
  10. Antoine Lavoisier recognized carbon as an element in 1789.
  1. Most of the common uses of carbon are for fuel in the form of coal, methane gas, and as well as crude oil.
  2. Diamonds are made solely from one element. That’s carbon.
  3. Carbon was not formed during the Big Bang. It is made inside the stars.
  4. Even if carbon is non-metal, it can bond itself to any element we know.
  5. Carbon continues to cycle through the earth’s oceans, plant life, animal life, and atmosphere.
Table of Contents

The importance of carbon in the cycle of the ecosystem.

For plants to make energy and grow, they use photosynthesis. Furthermore, plants take carbon dioxide (one carbon atom covalently bonded to two oxygen atoms). The plants provide oxygen to the earth using this process. Above all, huge places like the rainforest help to remove lots of carbon from the atmosphere.

forest, cycle of the ecosystem, carbon dioxide
Photo by Luca Bravo on Unsplash

Nature does a brilliant job of balancing carbon through the carbon cycle.

Every time humans inhale oxygen, it turns into carbon dioxide upon exhaling. Hence, the importance of the oxygen that we get from plants is equally important to the carbon dioxide humans release for them. Truly, nature does a brilliant job of balancing carbon through the carbon cycle.

Carbon monoxide consists of one carbon atom and one oxygen atom.

Carbon monoxide consists of one carbon atom and one oxygen atom. Furthermore, carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless flammable gas that is slightly less dense than air. Thus, carbon monoxide is used in different industries for a wide range of applications such as metal fabrication, chemical manufacturing, and fuel gas.

Metal fabrication, metal welding
Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash

Carbon was discovered by early human civilizations.

Carbon was discovered by early human civilizations through charcoal and soot. Hence, the place and date discovery of carbon are technically unknown. Again, it was Antoine Lavoisier who is taking the credit for recognizing carbon as an element.

The three forms of carbon are amorphous, graphite, and diamond.

The three forms of carbon found in nature are amorphous, graphite, and diamond. While each form has different properties, graphite is one of the softest. In contrast, the hardest known material is diamond which also comes from carbon. Meanwhile, amorphous carbon is a reactive carbon that does not have any crystalline structure.

diamond, carbon facts
Photo from Getty Images

Hydrocarbons have important uses.

Hydrocarbons are organic compounds made entirely of molecules featuring just hydrogen and carbon. Accordingly, the most important use of hydrocarbons is for natural gas, diesel, kerosene, propane, gasoline as well as jet fuel, and coal. Furthermore, hydrocarbons are also an ingredient to make plastics, polyester, and synthetic fabrics. On one hand, the simplest hydrocarbon compound is methane.

Pencils are made from carbon graphite.

In contrast to the belief of many, the core of a pencil does not contain lead. Instead, pencils contain a form of solid carbon known as graphite. Furthermore, people thought that pencil poisoning came from lead, which in fact, it was the pencil’s paint that caused it and not the graphite.

Carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gas emissions.

The term carbon footprint refers to the amount of greenhouse gas emissions caused by a country, organization, and humans. Thus, the carbon footprint is a tool to understand the impact of personal behavior on global warming. Above all, everyone can help reduce the carbon footprint even in small ways such as planting trees, carpooling, unplugging unnecessary devices, and reducing meat consumption.

carbon footprint
Photo from Getty Images

The aerospace and automobiles industries are the main carbon fiber users.

Carbon fiber is a durable material that consists of thin fibers made up of carbon atoms that are bonded together in microscopic crystals. Hence, it is useful for applications that require toughness with lesser weight. In particular, aerospace and automobiles industries are the main carbon fiber users.

The carbon paper is one of the most fun and popular school/office supplies to use.

The carbon paper is one of the most fun and popular school/office supplies to use. Moreover, the soot (carbon) with wax, coats the carbon paper on one side and as soon as the sheet gets pressure on top (either from writing or drawing), it will immediately copy the marks in an instant. For this reason, the phrase “carbon-copy” became popular due to its effectiveness.

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