Carbon also occurs in a form, discovered only recently, known as fullerenes or buckyballs.Buckyball carbon holds the promise for opening a whole new field of chemistry (see accompanying sidebar).In 1787, four French chemists wrote a book outlining a method for naming chemical substances.The name they used, carbone, is based on the earlier Latin term for charcoal, charbon. Allotropes are forms of an element with different physical and chemical properties.When oil burns, carbon is released in the reaction, forming a sooty covering on the inside of the lamp. Lampblack was also often mixed with olive oil or balsam gum to make ink.And ancient Egyptians sometimes used lampblack as eyeliner.
Among the non-crystalline allotropes of carbon are coal, lampblack, charcoal, carbon black, and coke. Coke is nearly pure carbon formed when coal is heated in the absence of air.
Instead, it gives off water vapor, leaving pure carbon.
This method for producing charcoal was known as early as the Roman civilization (509 476).
The numerical value for these properties varies depending on where the graphite originates.
The amorphous forms of carbon, like other non-crystalline materials, do not have clear-cut melting and boiling points.