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Carbon is an element that is the found in abundance in the earth's crust. It is found in group 14 of the Periodic Table and has the atomic number 6. Carbon, which is non metallic in nature, is the 4th most abundant element in the universe and the 15th most abundant element in the Earth's crust. The name 'carbon' comes from the Latin word carbo which means coal or charcoal. Though carbon was present for centuries in the forms of soot and charcoal, it was only in 1772 that its real uses, which are still figured in carbon uses in everyday life, were discovered by an eminent French scientist Rene Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur.
The major source of carbon is the deposits of coal that are buried deep inside the earth. There are three allotropes of carbon, namely graphite, diamond and amorphous carbon. Carbon is a highly stable element that can combine with almost any other element to form a number of useful compounds. Organic chemistry, a branch of chemistry has been dedicated to the study of the properties and uses of carbon, as a chemical element and in its compound forms.
Uses of Carbon in Everyday Life
There are many limited uses of carbon in its elemental form. But once it combines with another element, it changes itself into a useful substance for numerous things.
Carbon is used as a base for the ink in inkjet printers.
Carbon, in the form of carbon dioxide, is used in the manufacture of many fizzy and carbonated drinks. It is also used in fire extinguishers.
Dry ice, which is the solid form of carbon dioxide, is used as a cooling agent.
Freon, is used in cooling systems and devices like refrigerators and air conditioners.
Carbon is also used to manufacture many heat resistant devices and tools and metal cutters.
It is used as a decorative tool in many jewelry items.
Carbon monoxide, extracted through metallurgical process, is used as a reducing agent to obtain many elements and compounds.
Vegetal carbon, which is an amorphous form of carbon, is utilized as a bleaching agent and a gas absorbent.
Carbon is used in the rim of automobiles as a black fume pigment.
Calcium carbide is used as a welding agent for cutting metals, in the preparation of acetylene and other organic compounds.
Carbon is a highly stable element that can combine with almost any other element to form a number of useful compounds. Organic chemistry, a branch of chemistry has been dedicated to the study of the properties and uses of carbon, as a chemical element and in its compound forms.
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