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Diamondoid update. If one takes to heart the musings of the general media, the worst element on the planet is carbon, especially oxide of carbon. However, an old song prized and celebrated carbon: “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” In the oilfield, for cutting ability, wear resistance, and heat tolerance, natural diamond and man-made diamond cutters have a hallowed place in the driller’s heart. Carbon also has good electrical conductivity, so is suitable for high-temperature electrical products.
Carbon is a most useful element.
Three years ago World Oil brought the news of diamondoids to your attention (World Oil, January 2003, p. 17). These are hydrocarbons with the chemical structure C4n+6H4n+12 that occur naturally in oil and gas. A gallon of condensate can carry a couple of spoonfuls of diamondoids, according to Chevron.
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