GRAPHITE (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     27th May 2024        
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Context: India is in talks with Sri Lanka to acquire a graphite mine block in the island nation, pushing ahead with its plan to forge global alliances to secure critical mineral supplies.


  • About: It is an opaque, non-metallic carbon polymorph that appears blackish silver in color and varies from metallic to dull in sheen. It's colloquially known as black lead or plumbago due to its resemblance to metal lead.
  • Formation: Graphite forms through the metamorphosis of sediments containing carbonaceous material.
  • Molecular Structure: Graphite consists of a ring of six carbon atoms closely bonded together hexagonally in widely spaced layers.
  • Properties: Naturally occurring and stable form of crystalline carbon.
  • Texture and Density: Extremely soft, cleaving with light pressure, and with a very low specific gravity.
  • Thermal and Chemical Resistance: Highly resistant to heat and nearly inert when in contact with most other materials.
  • Global Presence: Graphite is extensively mined globally, with significant operations in China, India, Brazil, North Korea, and Canada.
  • In India: Arunachal Pradesh accounts for 36% of the total resources which is followed by Jammu & Kashmir (29%), Jharkhand (9%) Madhya Pradesh (5%) Odisha (9%), and Tamil Nadu (4%).
  • Applications:

o Utility: Graphite finds application in various industries, including metallurgy and manufacturing.

o Specific Uses: Widely used in pencils, lubricants, crucibles, foundry facings, polishes, arc lamps, batteries, brushes for electric motors, and in cores of nuclear reactors.

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