They arebuilt of elements grouped around chains or rings made of carbon atoms. Carbonalso provides common fuels–coal, oil, gasoline, and natural gas. Sugar, starch,and paper are compounds of carbon with hydrogen and oxygen. Proteins such ashair, meat, and silk contain these and other elements such as nitrogen,phosphorus, and sulfur. More than six and a half million compounds of the element carbon, manytimes more then those of any other element, are known, and more are discoveredand synthesized each week.
Hundreds of carbon compounds are commerciallyimportant but the element itself in the forms of diamond, graphite, charcoal,and carbon black is also used in a variety of manufactured products.Besides the wide occurrence of carbon in compounds, two forms of theelement–diamond and graphite, are deposited in widely scattered locationsaround the Earth.PROPERTIES OF CARBONSymbol = CAtomic Number = 6Atomic Weight = 12.011Density at 68 Degrees F = 1.88-3.53Boiling Point = 8,721 degrees FMelting Point = 6,420 degrees F