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Registered: 06/10/03
Posts: 151
Loc: east coast
Last seen: 11 years, 9 months
    #3521510 - 12/19/04 07:44 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

is the carbon on a burnt peice of toast in the form of graphite?

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Registered: 08/28/03
Posts: 657
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Re: carbon [Re: frogger25]
    #3521627 - 12/19/04 08:17 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

It'll be amorphous. In fact I have in one of my books a method for producing amorphous carbon, involving heating sucrose to 600*C in an inert atmosphere. The situation inside a toaster will be similar, even though the atmosphere is not inert. I suspect the bread behind the surface will prevent the surface from reaching ignition temperature by conducting heat away, which is why the toast doesn't just catch fire and is carbonised instead.
But it will not be pure amorphous carbon, and will get less pure as you go further away from the surface as the degree of chemical dehydration decreases. You'll have a kind of spectrum ranging from carbon to starch, with some weird sugars, polyols and hydrocarbons present in between (along with carbon and starch, and salt and other impurities present due to the fact that bread is not pure starch). It's hard to say exactly what else will be there, since pyrolysis isn't a simple process!

In other words, no. :smile:

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