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When was carbon first discovered?

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Quick Answer

Carbon was first discovered in pre-historic times as charcoal. It wasn't until the second half of the 18th century that it was recognized as an element.

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Carbon, from the Latin word "carbo," meaning charcoal, is found in abundance in nature. In combination, it is found in carbon dioxide, the byproduct of human respiration, and it plays an important part in photosynthesis.

Most fossil fuels are hydrocarbons and diamonds are pure carbon formed by intense heat and immense pressure. They are formed deep inside the Earth´s crust and can be mined as magma brings them towards the surface when it rises away from the core.

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