Carbon


Carbon represents a chemical element whose representative letter in the periodic table is “C”, with atomic number 6 and an atomic mass of 12.01, it is the 15th most abundant element at the level of the earth’s crust and the second most abundant in the formation of the human body. This element can be found as diamond, graphite and carbon, the most common use given to this element is for the manufacture of hydrocarbons and fossil-based fuels which are renewable energy enhancers.

what is carbon

It corresponds to a chemical element located in the second period and group 14 of the periodic table, being the second most abundant chemical component in the human body after oxygen. It is a non-metal with the characteristic of presenting a total of four electrons to form covalent bonds.

Etymologically the name comes from the word of Latin origin “carbonis” which means coal.

carbon characteristics

Among the main characteristics that this element highlights are:

  • It is a tetravalent element and not a metal.
  • It allows the formation of three isotopes naturally, carbon 14, 13 and 12.
  • The particular case of carbon 14 corresponds to a radioactive isotope used in research as a biochemical marker to determine the age of fossils and organic matter.
  • Its most common allotropic forms in nature are graphite, which is the softest, diamond, which is the hardest and most expensive form, and carbon, which is the cheapest.
  • Together with oxygen it forms carbon dioxide, elemental for the development of plants.
  • In its union with hydrogen it forms hydrocarbons, of great importance for the oil industry in its form of fossil fuels.
  • An important characteristic is the hybridization of carbon, which corresponds to the location of the 4 electrons of level two in a hybrid orbital called “sp”.

physical properties

Carbon - Physical Properties

Some physical properties that characterize it are:

  • They are in a solid state.
  • The melting point is 3,727 °C, but it varies according to the allotropic form in which it occurs, being lower in graphite and higher in diamond.
  • The boiling point is 4,830 °C.

Chemical properties

Some relevant chemical characteristics are:

  • It has an electronegativity of 2.5.
  • Its ionic and atomic radii are 0.15 and 0.914, respectively.
  • The electronic configuration of carbon is 1s22s22p2.
  • It has a +4 oxidation state.
  • Density of 2.26 g/ml.

Obtaining the carbon

Carbon is found in the earth’s crust in various forms, it can be dissolved in the water and the crust together with smaller amounts of other elements such as magnesium, iron and calcium.

Its graphite form can be obtained in large quantities in the earth’s atmosphere in countries such as Russia, Mexico, the United States, India, among others. While as a diamond it occurs as part of volcanic rocks and its largest reserves are found in Africa, while other countries such as Canada, Russia and Brazil also have significant deposits of this form of the element.

It is not only found on planet earth but is part of the composition of different bodies present in the universe, for example, inside stars and even in other celestial bodies such as comets.

uses of carbon

Being the fourth most abundant element in the universe, it has a variety of everyday uses, for example:

  1. One of the main uses is as a hydrocarbon, specifically as crude oil for the production of gasoline and kerosene, as well as in the form of methane gas.
  2. Because it is one of the main ingredients of organic compounds, it is used in the production of cotton and linen through the cellulose found naturally in some plants.
  3. Carbon fiber is used in the manufacture of high-priced sports cars, aircraft parts, prostheses and crutches in the health area, sports equipment and motorcycle helmets, drones, among others.
  4. On the other hand, what is known as carbon steel (formed by the alloy of iron and carbon) is frequently used in the area of ​​civil construction as part of structures, it is also used in the mechanical construction of machines, automobile parts, bicycles, among others.
SUMMARY CARBON CHARACTERISTICS
Characteristics
It is a non-metallic element and is a good conductor of electricity when in the form
of graphite
It is not considered toxic in low amounts, however some carbon-based compounds,
They can be very toxic and even deadly to humans.
Properties
physicalThey are in a solid state.
The melting point is 3,727 °C
The boiling point is 4,830 °C
chemicalsIt has an electronegativity of 2.5.
Its ionic and atomic radii are 0.15 and 0.914, respectively.
The electronic configuration of carbon is 1s22s22p2.
It has a +4 oxidation state.
Density of 2.26 g/ml.
Periodic table
It is found among the carbonoids.
Its atomic number 6.
Its atomic mass 12.01.
It is represented by the symbol C.
Obtaining
It is possible to find traces of carbon and hydrocarbons on distant planets, such as the gas giants
Of the solar system
Carbon is found in the earth’s crust in various forms, such as dissolved in water
and the crust together with lesser amounts of other elements such as magnesium, iron and calcium.
Its graphite form can be obtained in large quantities in the earth’s atmosphere in countries
such as Russia, Mexico, the United States and India
Its diamond shape occurs as part of volcanic rocks and its largest reserves are
found in africa
It is not only found on planet earth but is part of the composition of different bodies
present in the universe, for example, inside stars and even in other celestial bodies such as the
case of comets.
Applications
As a hydrocarbon, specifically as crude oil for the production of gasoline and kerosene.
It is used in the production of cotton and linen.
Carbon fiber is used in the manufacture of sports cars, aircraft parts, prostheses and crutches.
in the area of ​​health, sports equipment and motorcycle helmets, drones
Carbon steel is frequently used in the area of ​​civil construction

Carbon Caution

Carbon in its pure state is not very toxic to humans, so it can be handled with ease, however, some compounds of this element, such as carbon dioxide present in the gases emitted by combustion engines, are toxic to humans. and mammals in general.

Some related gases such as ethyne, methane, and ethene are flammable and explosive in the presence of oxygen. Some compounds that are considered lethal poisons are:

  • Tetrodotoxin (C11H17N3O8), is a toxin of marine origin.
  • The lectin ricin (C8H8N2O2), is found in castor beans.
  • Cyanide, present in minimal amounts in walnuts, almonds, peaches, cassava and in the seeds of fruits such as apples, pears and grapes.

Carbon - Coal Handling

Regarding the management of a patient with poisoning by carbon compounds such as cyanide, the following recommendations should be followed:

  • In case of inhalation or ingestion, take the affected person to a ventilated place, mouth-to-mouth respiration should not be given, seek medical assistance to apply mechanical ventilation if necessary, in case of not recovering, the use of amyl nitrite capsules.
  • If it comes into contact with the skin, clothing should be removed and the area washed with plenty of water. If symptoms of irritation or hives persist, seek medical attention.
  • If contact is directly with the eyes, they should be washed with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes, see a specialist immediately.

Carbon FAQ

What is carbon?

It corresponds to a non-metal chemical element, located in group 14 of the periodic table, it corresponds to the 15th most abundant element in the earth’s crust and the second in the body of human beings.

What is the carbon footprint?

It represents an environmental indicator, whose purpose is to try to determine the total amount of gaseous elements that influence the greenhouse effect for an individual, event or company.

What are carbohydrates?

Also known as carbohydrates, it corresponds to one of the three main macronutrients, along with fats and proteins, present in food and that are necessary for the functioning of the human body.

What is carbon used for?

At a biological level, it is found as part of the constitution of the organism in humans and mammals in general, in the field of the petrochemical and construction industry it is highly used in areas such as civil engineering for the elaboration of structures and buildings, as well as for Obtaining fuels in their hydrocarbon form.

What is the carbon monoxide?

It represents a highly toxic gas that is part of the products of combustion engines such as appliances, cars and heaters. Its chemical formula is CO and inhalation of this compound in high quantities can cause death.