Diamonds don't last forever: they can burn
Diamonds don't last forever: they can burn

Diamonds don't last forever: they can burn because of their carbon base

Diamonds don't last forever: they can burn

It is generally accepted that diamonds are eternal, and neither water nor fire can cope with them. In fact, diamonds can burn. It will require the correct approach to the application of heat, with a sufficient amount of which and with the right amount of oxygen, the diamond can ignite. Diamond, just like coal, is a carbon. To make both of these natural components burn, the certain conditions must be created

. A diamond can burn, with a certain reaction with oxygen. Rick Sackleben, who is a chemist at the American Chemical Society, believes that burning a diamond is just the conversion of solid carbon to a gaseous form: a reaction with oxygen creates a flame and it takes a lot of heat to burn.


A physicist Christopher Bird of the University of West Texas demonstrated how diamonds ignite in the air at room temperature at about 900 degrees Celsius. For comparison, there is a coal, containing a large amount of flammable gases, it burns at a temperature of 667 degrees, and the wood is capable of igniting at a temperature of 300 degrees.

When heated, the diamond begins to change its color. In the early stages of ignition it turns red and then it turns white. The heat distributed over the surface of the diamond contributes to the development of a reaction when interacting with air, converting carbon into a colorless, odorless gas carbon monoxide.

In their combination, oxygen and carbon form an oxide that generates heat. Reacting with oxygen, it generates even more heat, and the rising heat drives carbon monoxide upward, therefore more oxygen enters. Burning a diamond requires the constant addition of this oxygen.


In normal room conditions, it is not enough. The air in the room has only 22% of oxygen, and it needs at least 100%. The physicists say that any substance can burn in pure oxygen, and therefore diamond is no exception