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Physical properties of carbon and its compounds:
  • Carbon is a non-metal found in different allotropic forms, from soft powder to hard solid
  • All the allotropic kinds of carbon are solids, whereas compounds exist in solid, liquid and gaseous states. 
  • Amorphous forms of carbon and graphite are primarily black in colour and opaque. On the other hand, diamond is transparent and shiny
  • Carbon amorphous forms have low melting and boiling point compared to crystalline states. 
  • Water and other common solvents are insoluble in carbon. However, some carbon compounds are soluble in water and solvent.  For example, (\(CO_2\)) and ethanol are water-soluble.
Chemical properties of carbon and its compounds:
Elemental carbon does not react at ambient temperature. In few cases, it can react at higher temperatures. But its compounds undergo a vast number of reactions even at ambient temperature.
Oxidation - (Reaction with oxygen):
Carbon reacts with oxygen to give its oxides like carbon monoxide (\(CO\)) and carbon dioxide (\(CO_2\) ) with the evolution of heat.
Organic carbon compounds such as hydrocarbon undergo oxidation to gives oxides and steam with the development of heat and flame. This is referred to as combustion.
\(2C_(s)\) + \(O_2{_(g)}\) → \(2CO_(g)\)+ heat
\(C_(s)\) + \(O_2{_(g)}\) → \(CO_2{_(g)}\) + heat
\(CH_4{_(g)}\) + \(2O_2{_(g)}\) → \(CO_2{_(g)}\)+ \(2H_2{O_(g)}\) + heat
Reaction with steam:
Carbon combines with steam to give carbon monoxide and hydrogen. This mixture is named water gas.
\(C_(s)\) + \(H_2O{_(g)}\) → \(CO_(g)\) + \(H_2{_(g)}\)
Reaction with sulphur:
Carbon forms its disulphide with sulphur at high temperatures.
\(C_(s)\) + \(2S_(g)\) → \(CS_2{_(g)}\)
Reaction with metals:
Carbon reacts with metals like iron, tungsten, titanium, etc., to form its carbides at high temperatures.
Tungesten + Carbon → Tungesten carbide
\(W\) + \(C\) → \(WC\)