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How Scientists Are Creating Diamonds From CO2 Emissions

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Channel: Seeker
Categories: Chemistry   |   Science  
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A UK company is making synthetic diamonds from carbon that's sucked out of the air. But just how eco-friendly are these manufactured gems?
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A UK company named Skydiamond hopes to revolutionize the traditional diamond mining industry by using carbon capture technology to do just that. The company calls it a zero-impact diamond because the process pulls carbon dioxide right out of the air. Although, a diamond traps only a modest amount of carbon one carat contains just 200 milligrams.

Pure carbon can take many forms it all depends on how the atoms are arranged. Graphite is arranged into multiple layers, graphene in a single layer, and if its rolled-up, it forms carbon nanotubes. But when each carbon forms 4 strong bonds in a tetrahedral structure, it becomes a diamond.

Most natural diamonds were formed over a billion years ago, more than 120 kilometers beneath the Earths surface. This is where intense temperature and pressure cause carbon atoms to strongly bond together and arrange into crystal structures. Volcanic eruptions bring these crystals embedded in magma to the surface. When the magma cools, it hardens in long vertical shafts called kimberlite pipes. And these pipes are what's sought after in the mining industry.

#co2 #emissions #diamonds #seeker #science #elements

Read More:

Eco-friendly diamonds made from the sky
"t took the team more than five years to get the technique right, ensuring they are physically and chemically identical to Earth-mined diamonds. The diamonds - certified by the International Gemological Institute take a couple of weeks to be made."

Are laboratory-grown diamonds the more ethical choice to say 'I do'?
"Diamonds are formed naturally through a combination of heat, pressure and time, growing deep underground until deep-set volcanic eruptions bring them closer to the surface, ready to be excavated. Lab-grown versions recreate this using a fragment of diamond in a sealed chamber which is heated to extreme temperatures..."

Why turning China's smog into diamonds isnt as crazy as it sounds
"After a pilot in Rotterdam, the Smog Free Project is coming to China. The project consists of two parts. First, a 7m tall tower sucks up polluted air, and cleans it at a nano-level. Second, the carbon from smog particles is turned into diamonds."


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