Energy & Green Tech

Engineered bacteria could be missing link in energy storage

One of the big issues with sustainable energy systems is how to store electricity that's generated from wind, solar and waves. At present, no existing technology provides large-scale storage and energy retrieval for sustainable ...

Automotive

Mercedes want to abandon combustion engines by 2039

German giant Mercedes-Benz said Monday it wants to stop selling traditional combustion engine cars by 2039 and plans for its new vehicles sold worldwide by that time to be carbon-neutral.

Energy & Green Tech

UK reaches jolly good milestone in days without coal

The UK has gone more than five days without burning coal, the longest streak without burning the fuel since the Industrial Revolution, said Bloomberg. It breaks the previous record from earlier this year, a total of 90 hours.

Energy & Green Tech

Eighteen countries showing the way to carbon zero

Eighteen countries from developed economies have had declining carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels for at least a decade. While every nation is unique, they share some common themes that can show Australia, and the ...

Energy & Green Tech

Carbon fiber can store energy in the body of a vehicle

A study led by Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, has shown that carbon fibres can work as battery electrodes, storing energy directly. This opens up new opportunities for structural batteries, where the carbon fibre ...

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Carbon

Carbon (pronounced /ˈkɑrbən/) is the chemical element with symbol C and atomic number 6. As a member of group 14 on the periodic table, it is nonmetallic and tetravalent—making four electrons available to form covalent chemical bonds. There are three naturally occurring isotopes, with 12C and 13C being stable, while 14C is radioactive, decaying with a half-life of about 5730 years. Carbon is one of the few elements known since antiquity. The name "carbon" comes from Latin language carbo, coal, and, in some Romance and Slavic languages, the word carbon can refer both to the element and to coal.

There are several allotropes of carbon of which the best known are graphite, diamond, and amorphous carbon. The physical properties of carbon vary widely with the allotropic form. For example, diamond is highly transparent, while graphite is opaque and black. Diamond is among the hardest materials known, while graphite is soft enough to form a streak on paper (hence its name, from the Greek word "to write"). Diamond has a very low electrical conductivity, while graphite is a very good conductor. Under normal conditions, diamond has the highest thermal conductivity of all known materials. All the allotropic forms are solids under normal conditions but graphite is the most thermodynamically stable.

All forms of carbon are highly stable, requiring high temperature to react even with oxygen. The most common oxidation state of carbon in inorganic compounds is +4, while +2 is found in carbon monoxide and other transition metal carbonyl complexes. The largest sources of inorganic carbon are limestones, dolomites and carbon dioxide, but significant quantities occur in organic deposits of coal, peat, oil and methane clathrates. Carbon forms more compounds than any other element, with almost ten million pure organic compounds described to date, which in turn are a tiny fraction of such compounds that are theoretically possible under standard conditions.

Carbon is one of the least abundant elements in the Earth's crust, but the fourth most abundant element in the universe by mass after hydrogen, helium, and oxygen. It is present in all known lifeforms, and in the human body carbon is the second most abundant element by mass (about 18.5%) after oxygen. This abundance, together with the unique diversity of organic compounds and their unusual polymer-forming ability at the temperatures commonly encountered on Earth, make this element the chemical basis of all known life.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA