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Difference between Graphite and Carbon

Difference between Graphite and Carbon

As an engineer, you’re likely familiar with the term “carbon.” But do you know the difference between graphite and carbon? In this blog post, we’ll explore the properties of each material and discuss their applications. Stay tuned!

What is Graphite?

Graphite is a material that is made up of carbon atoms. Graphite has different structures, depending on the arrangements of the carbon atoms. The three main structures of graphite are hexagonal graphite, first discovered in 1789 by Pierre-Simon Laplace; flake graphite, first discovered in 1859 by 1862 by Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge; and Graphite fiber, first discovered in 1978 by Baker Hughes. Graphite is used in pencils, as a lubricant, and in the manufacturing of glass and steel. Graphite is also being studied for its use in batteries and fuel cells.

What is Carbon?

Carbon is a chemical element with the symbol C and atomic number 6. It is nonmetallic and tetravalent-making four electrons available to form covalent chemical bonds. There are three naturally occurring Carbon allotropes: Graphite, Diamond, and Fullerenes.

  • Carbon also forms a vast number of compounds, more than any other element, with almost ten million compounds described to date. Carbon Allotropes are different forms of Carbon atoms with different molecular structures.
  • The most common allotrope is graphite, which is found in pencil lead. The hardest Carbon allotrope is diamond, and it is used in jewelry and as an industrial cutting tool.
  • Carbon’s boiling point is the second highest of all the elements, surpassed only by tungsten. And finally, Carbon has the lowest melting point of all the elements.

Difference between Graphite and Carbon

Graphite and carbon are both allotropes of the element carbon, meaning they are made of the same atoms but have different arrangements. Graphite is made up of layers of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb lattice, while carbon can exist in a number of different arrangements, including graphite is a good conductor of electricity and heat, while carbon is a poor conductor. Graphite is also softer than carbon, making it useful as a lubricant. Both graphite and carbon have a variety of uses. Graphite is used in pencils and batteries, while carbon is used in steelmaking and as a component of concrete.


So, what is the difference between graphite and carbon? The answer to this question may seem straightforward at first glance; however, upon closer inspection, it is clear that these two materials are quite different. Graphite is a soft, black material that is used in pencils and other writing implements because of its ability to produce a dark line on paper. Carbon, on the other hand, exists in many forms including diamond, coal, and soot.

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