Apart from diamond and graphite, which are crystalline forms of carbon, all other forms of carbon are amorphous allotropes of carbon.

  1. Coke

Coke is the amorphous allotrope of carbon, which is derived from coal.

When coal undergoes destructive distillation, it yields two allotropes of carbon, namely coke and gas carbon.

Destructive distillation is a chemical process, which involves is the breaking up of a complex substance by heating it in the absence of air.


Uses of coke

It is a very good fuel and when ignited it burns almost with no smoke.

It is a non-conductor of heat and electricity.

It acts as a good reducing agent and is extensively used in the production of producer gas, water gas and hydrogen.


  1. Sugar Charcoal

Sugar charcoal can be obtained by dehydrating cane sugar, either by treating it with concentrated sulphuric acid or by heating it in the absence of air. It is the purest form of the amorphous variety of carbon. It is used in the preparation of artificial diamonds.


  1. Wood Charcoal

Wood charcoal is obtained by the destructive distillation of wood. The chief products formed are wood charcoal.


Wood charcoal is black, porous, brittle and soft.

Though denser than water it can float on water, as it contains plenty of air bubbles trapped in the pores.

Wood Charcoal is not a conductor of electricity.



  •   Wood charcoal is mostly used as a fuel as it catches fire easily.
  •   It is used in gas masks as an adsorbent.
  • It is also used as a decolourising agent for sugar, oils, alcohol, petroleum products, etc.
  •   It is used in gun powder which is a mixture of charcoal powder, potassium nitrate and sulphur.


  1. Animal Charcoal

It is prepared by the destructive distillation of bones of animals. It is porous and can adsorb colouring matter. It is mostly used in sugar industry to decolourise sugar.


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