Carbon and its Compounds


Graphite is derived from a Greek word called graphene which means writing so it’s because graphite was primarily used initially for making pencils that’s how it got its name. is an aloe trope of carbon which is greyish in colour and opaque. It’s extracted from the ground, however, takes years to be formed.

In China which has the highest source of graphite in the meantime. Graphite is a non-metal because it is made up of carbon atoms. However, one of its property that makes it behave like a metal. It is the most stable form of carbon Because graphite is favoured by high pressure and high temperature. At these standard conditions hey diamond will be tending to convert to graphite.

However the process takes millions of year, so at these normal standard conditions, graphite is a much stable form of carbon then diamond. Yeah. If it burns in air carbon dioxide gas formed. The aqueous solution of graphite is known as Aqua dog first stop graphite is also known as plumbago.



Definition of Graphite 

Graphite is formed when carbon is subjected to the intense heat and pressure of the earth crust and upper mantle. Today graphite is often associated with the pencil. The lead filling is a mixture of graphite and clay. It is also a common ingredient in the lubricant. Graphite has the same chemical composition as a diamond, which is also a pure carbon. It is the different molecular structure that gives each they are almost opposite characteristics. Key world producing countries include China, India Brazil, North Korea and Canada.

Structure of Graphite 

Graphite is an allotrope of carbon. graphite each carbon Atom is linked with 3 other carbon atoms by single covalent bond resulting in the hexagonal ring which is arranged in a layer. In general, graphite is used in pencil laid, batteries as an electrode. It has 2-dimensional layers like structure. It is also called a sandwich-like structure. In the structure of graphite, each carbon Atom is SP to hybridised and hexagon are arranged in layers. In the layer, each carbon atom is linked to 3 other carbon atoms in the same plane through covalent bonds. The 4th valence of carbon Atom is satisfied by week wonder walls forces between 2 layers. The C-C bond length is 0.142 nm within the layer and C-C distance between 2 layers is 0.34 nm. Graphite is used for making metallurgical crucible.

Properties of Graphite 

Graphite is an allotrope of carbon which is used for making moderator rods in nuclear power plants. Its properties are as follows:

  • A greyish black, opaque substance.
  • Lighter than diamond, smooth and slippery to touch.
  • A good conductor of electricity( Due to the presence of free electrons) and good conductor of heat.
  • A crystalline solid
  • Very soapy to touch.
  • Non-inflammable.
  • Soft due to weak Vander wall forces.
  • The conductor of electricity.

Types of Graphite 

Generally, there are 2 types of graphite one is Alpha graphite and the second is beta graphite. These are classified as the arrangement of the carbon atoms.

  • Alpha graphite – In Alpha graphite, the layers are arranged in the sequence of ABAB arrangement.
  • Beta graphite – In beta graphite, the layers are arranged in the sequence of ABC ABC.

Process of making Graphite in a Lab

Graphite is a brittle steel black coloured compound that is used in several different industrial inductor processes as well as in the lady for your pencil. To make graphite in the lab we need the flowing material  1) 10- 15 gram of sucrose, 2) 10 mils of 18 molars sulphuric acid, 3) 10- 20 grams of sodium bicarbonate, 4) 250 mil beaker, 5) a stirring rod, 6) 10 ml graduated cylinder and a plastic zip-lock bag. Now firstly placed 10 millilitres of 18 molar sulphuric acids in a 10 millilitre graduated cylinder. Place 15 grams of sucrose in a 50-millilitre beaker. Now pour the 10 mils of punch chisel, Cassatt, into sucrose. Stir it briskly. You will notice the reaction is taking place as the materials get darker and eventually turned black. After some time the reaction completes and the result is the graphite.

Uses of Graphite 

  1. Graphite is used for making the cores of our pencils- It is black, soft and its layers can slide over one another. The lid of the pencil is made by mixing the graphite with clay and water. The more clay they put harder the pencil nib will be.
  2. Due to its softness, powder graphite is used as a lubricant for fast-moving parts of machinery.
  3. Graphite conducts electricity hence it is used for making carbon electrodes in dry cells and electrolysis. Electrolysis is the process of passing electricity through an electrolyte.

General Facts

  1. Allotropy or allotropism is the property of some chemical elements to exist in 2 or more different forms, known as allotropes of these elements. Allotropes are different structural modifications of an element. Allotropes of carbon are graphite, diamond, Florence.
  2. Carbon is a natural greenhouse gas but ever since the industrial revolution, there has been way too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Humans are now a non-natural influence on the control of climate. We burn too many fossil fuels and use them for transportation. Deforestation is another phenomenon caused by humans.
  3. The bond formed by the sharing of electron between the elements is a covalent bond.

FAQs about Graphite

Q.1. Why graphite is in use as a lubricant?

Answer – Graphite is in use as a lubricant because each layer of graphite can slide over others due to weak Vander wall forces. Hence it shows lubricant property and used as solid lubricants.

Q.2. What do you mean by graphene?

Answer – It is an allotrope of carbon, the single layer of graphite discovered in 2003. It has a honeycomb-like structure. Graphene is not only one of the thinnest but also the strongest materials. It conducts heat better than all other materials. It is a great conductor of electricity, it is optically transparent. These amazing properties and its multifunction functionality make graphene suitable for a wide spectrum of applications ranging from electron ices to optics sensors and biodevices.

Q.3. Why is graphite able to conduct electricity while diamond not?

Answer – Graphite is the only non-metals that conduct electricity. Because in graphite one carbon Atom attached to 3 carbon atoms and in case one carbon Atom is free to generate electricity.

Q.4. What are the main chemical properties of graphite?

Answer – It has high melting and boiling point because the bonding between 2 carbon Atom in graphite is covalent and we know that covalent bond is the stronger bond.


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