Periodic Table Element Project

The Carbon Family - By Jane Daniel

Carbon - C

Atomic Number: 6
Atomic Mass: 12.011
Valence Electrons: 6
Group Number: #14 - The Carbon Family

Basic Facts About Carbon:

Melting Point: 6,422 degrees Fahrenheit (3,550 degrees C)
Freezing Point: 6,422 degrees Fahrenheit (3,550 degrees C)
Boiling Point: 6,872 F (3,800 C) (sublimation)
Discovered By: Antoine Lavoisier is the first to classify it but known since prehistoric times.
Date Discovered: True date unknown but classified in 1789.

Reactivity: Of these three forms of carbon, neither are very reactive (although coal can of course be burned to from CO2, which means that it does react with oxygen at high temperature).



Carbon is found in the sun and other stars formed from the debris of a previous supernova, and it is built up by nuclear fusion in bigger stars. It is present in the atmospheres of many planets usually as carbon dioxide (currently 390 ppm and rising for our own atmosphere).

The properties of diamond and graphite are very different with diamond being transparent and very hard while graphite is black and soft (soft enough to write on paper).

Carbon is the 4th most common element in the Universe (after hydrogen, helium and oxygen). It is the 15th most common element in the Earth’s crust while it is the second most common element in the human body (behind oxygen).

It is of vital importance to life on Earth, allowing carbon to be continually reused and recycled.


*Carbon black, a very fine powdered carbon, is the pigment in black printing ink and India ink. It is also used in laser printer toner cartridges.

*Carbon black is also used in rubber products such as car tires.

*Activated carbon filters are used extensively in air filters (including gas masks) or cleaners and also help to remove contaminants such as ozone, chlorine, or other halogen compounds.

*Charcoal itself is used in art and also as a barbecue fuel.