A Condiment That Can Be Turned Into Diamonds!?
Compared to the enormous advances in space exploration, we still know very little about the world lying beneath our feet. Elementary geology explains that the Earth's interior can be divided into rough layers: the core, the lower and upper mantle, and the crust. However, their exact composition is still a mystery, and that's a major gap in knowledge!
According to a BBC Future article, a team in Germany back in 2014 attempted to forge diamonds themselves from carbon dioxide and peanut butter!
At the Bayerisches Geoinstitut in Germany, scientist Dan Frost was working with experiments to mimic the conditions of the Earth's lower mantle, thousands of kilometers below our feet. As a part of this work, Frost discovered some surprising ways to make diamonds!
To make a very long scientific story short, Frost suspected that a series of geological processes could pull CO2 out of the oceans, into rocks, and then down into the mantle, where it is converted into diamonds. These gem stones are less volatile than other forms of carbon according to Frost, meaning that it is less likely to be released back into the atmosphere. A diamond-studded mantle could have the potential to slow down the warming of the Earth and help the evolution of life.
Recreating the process using his presses, Frost discovered the diamonds take an agonizingly long time to grow. This didn't stop him from experimenting with other sources for his diamond maker! He attempted to create some diamonds from carbon-rich peanut butter. "Alot of hydrogen was released that destroyed the experiment," Frost says, "but only after it had been converted to diamond."
Maybe one day we will all have our own DIY peanut butter -diamond kits!