Carbon: A Natural Element
There are 100+ different kinds of elements found naturally on Earth. Carbon is one of them.
Carbon is fun to study. Carbon atoms link together forming different kinds of stuff. For example, the diamond shown in the photo is made of carbon atoms.
Question: Are the carbon atoms in diamonds just like the carbon atoms in charcoal?
Yes, the carbon atoms in a diamond are just like the carbon atoms in coal. The difference between a diamond and coal is how the carbon atoms are linked together. The linking of atoms is called bonding.
Question: If coal can burn, can a diamond burn?
Yes. All that is needed to burn a diamond is oxygen and the kindling temperature (combustion temperature) of a diamond, which is about 1,4000 F (760 0 C). This temperature varied depending on humidity, supply of oxygen, as well as air pressure.
1. What is the kindling temperature of coal?
2. How do piles of coal spontaneously catch on fire? At what temperature does this spontaneous combustion occur?
Did You Know?
Thomas Edison used a thin thread-like piece of carbon for the filament in his electric light bulb.
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