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In situ availability: trace
Necessity: critical
Atomic number: 6
Atomic mass: 12.0107
group: 14
period: 2
normal phase: Solid
series: Non-metals
density: (graphite) 2.267 g/cm3(diamond) 3.513 g/cm3
melting point:
boiling point: 4000K,
B ← C → N
Atomic radius (pm): 70
Bohr radius (pm): 67
Covalent radius (pm): 77
Van der Waals radius (pm): 170
ionic radius (pm): (+4) 16
1st ion potential (eV): 11.26
Electron Configuration
2s2 2p2
Electrons Per Shell
2, 4
Electronegativity: 2.55
Electron Affinity: 1.26
Oxidation states: 4, 2
Magnetism: Diamagnetic
Crystal structure: Hexagonal

Carbon is a Non-metal in group 14. It has a Hexagonal crystalline structure. This element has two stable isotopes: 12 and 13.

Application to Lunar Colonization

Proposed Uses

Carbon would be required for the production of lunar steel. In addition, use of carbon has been proposed for a number of lunar industrial processes, both as a reactant and as an electrode material. Examples include aluminum and titanium production.

Lunar Occurrence and Production

Carbon is present in the lunar regolith. Estimates of its concentration range from 80 to over 200 parts per million, depending on location. This carbon could be extracted by heating the regolith, causing carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), and methane (CH4) to form, which are then collected (see Volatiles). These substances would have to be reduced further to produce elemental carbon.

Frozen CO2 may be present in shadowed craters at the poles.

Related Pages

Lunar Carbon Production