How did the element carbon get its name?


Quick Answer

The element carbon, pronounced KAR-ben, gets its name from the Latin word "carbo," meaning charcoal in Latin. Carbon is the sixth most plentiful element found in the universe with origins that date back to ancient times. There are three naturally occurring allotropes of carbon that exist today, which are graphite, amorphous and diamond.

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Full Answer

Today, carbon is primarily retrieved from coal deposits and then processed into a form usable for commercial manufacturing. Carbon is used to make dry cell batteries, ink, rubber and paints and is also used in the allotrope form "graphite" to manufacturer dry lubricants. The element carbon is a non-metal solid at room temperature and is assigned the number 6 on the periodic table of elements.

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