Insoluble in water
<01 mm Hg ( 20 °C)
UN 1325 41/PG 3
Crucibles, retorts, foundry facings, molds,
lubricants, paints and coatings, boiler compounds,
powder glazing, electrotyping, monochromator in
X-ray diffraction analysis, fluorinated graphite
polymers with fluorine-to-carbon ratios of 0.1–1.25,
electrodes, bricks, chemical equipment, motor and
generator brushes, seal rings, rocket nozzles, moderator
in nuclear reactors, cathodes in electrolytic
cells, pencils, fibers, self-lubricating bearings, intercalation
compounds. There are many uses for the very versatile element carbon. It, no doubt, forms morecompounds than any other element, particularly in the world of modern carbon chemistry.Carbon’s nature allows the formation-rings and straight- and branched-chains types of compoundsthat are capable of adding hydrogen as well as many different types of elemental atomsto these structures. (See figure 5 in the book’s section titled “Atomic Structure” for a depictionof a snake eating its tail as an analogy for the carbon ring of benzene.) In addition, theseringed, straight, and branched carbon molecules can be repeated over and over to form verylarge molecules such as the polymers, proteins, and carbohydrates that are required for life.
Carbon is an excellent reducing agent because it readily combines with oxygen to form COand CO
. Thus, in the form of coke in blast furnaces, it purifies metals by removing the oxidesand other impurities from iron.
Carbon, as graphite, has strong electrical conductivity properties. It is an importantcomponent in electrodes used in a variety of devices, including flashlight cells (batteries).Amorphous carbon has some superconduction capabilities.
Graphite is used for the “lead” in pencils, as a dry lubricant, and as electrodes in arc lamps.Of course, carbon is a popular jewelry item (e.g., diamonds).
Future uses of carbon in the forms of fullerenes (C
up to C
) and applications of nanotechnologywill provide many new and improved products with unusual properties.