What is the chemical formula for graphite?


Quick Answer

Graphite's chemical formula is C. Graphite is a carbon allotrope, meaning that it has the same chemical composition as carbon, but it has different physical characteristics.

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Full Answer

Carbon is capable of forming three naturally occurring allotropes: amorphous carbon, graphite and diamond. When carbon atoms form a hexagonal crystal structure, the result is graphite. The hexagonal lattices rest on each other in layers, making graphite soft, malleable and ideal for use as a lubricant.

However, each layer of graphite is individually strong. A single layer of graphite is known as graphene and is more than 300 times stronger than steel. Graphene's strength and excellent electrical and thermal conduction properties make it useful for many industrial applications.

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