Found a way to turn fossil materials into diamonds

Scientists at Stanford University have found a way to turn fossil materials into pure diamonds.

Diamond is an extremely valuable and special material. People have always studied the process of diamond formation and found many ways to make these beautiful stones themselves.

Diamond making is not only a hobby of jewelers but also in other fields. Scientists at Stanford University, USA have successfully created a new type of artificial diamond with the starting point of crude oil and natural gas molecules.

Usually, natural diamonds are formed hundreds of miles below the earth’s surface. Very high temperature and pressure cause the carbon molecules to crystallize and produce valuable diamond stones. They are then shot to the ground through volcanic eruptions.

Scientists have spent decades figuring out how to convert various compounds into synthetic diamonds in order to produce more widely and profitably. However, the process of self-generating diamonds requires huge amounts of energy as well as suitable catalysts.

According to New Atlas, Stanford University, which specializes in Earth, energy and environmental studies, has found a simpler way to make diamonds.

“We wanted to do a neat process. In which, only a single substance is turned into a genuine diamond – no catalyst is needed,” said Sulgiye Park, who led the research process.

Found a way to turn fossil materials into diamonds
Doctor Yu Lin with a model that simulates an oil powder molecule that is about to be transformed into a diamond. (Photo: New Atlas).

To create a new synthetic diamond, scientists start with a powder refined from crude oil. They found atomic patterns in the crude oil powder that were similar in structure to the atoms that make up diamond crystals.

Unlike ordinary diamonds, crude oil powder also includes molecular hydrogen in addition to carbon. The team of scientists then put this material into a “Diamond anvil cell” – a device that creates extremely high pressure to make hard materials.

These materials are heated by a laser. Scientists discovered they can turn into a pure diamond with very little energy. Under a temperature of about 627 degrees Celsius and pressure many times greater than Earth’s atmosphere, the hydrogen atoms of the crude oil powder quickly disappeared from the mixture, turning the oil powder into diamonds.

Found a way to turn fossil materials into diamonds
Synthetic diamonds are made under a high-temperature laser. (Photo: New Atlas).

This process only takes place in a split second. The researchers also note that the technique they created can only produce a small amount of diamonds.

“The real value of the research process lies in the knowledge of how diamonds are formed and manipulated. We can create diamonds more quickly and easily,” said a representative of the University team. Stanford shared.

According to Stanford University, the results of these synthetic diamonds could affect areas beyond the jewelry industry. Diamonds’ hardness, transparency, chemical stability, thermal conductivity and other unique properties could make them useful in medicine, biosensors to quantum computing.