Difference Between Graphite and Carbon (With Table)

Science is everywhere. We can see it in our food we eat, in the air we breathe, the water we drink, etc. It is the study of everything around us. As we can see, there are a lot of things around us having different properties. Graphite and Carbon are two similar things but still differ from each other in various aspects.

Graphite vs Carbon

The main difference between Graphite and Carbon is that Graphite is an allotrope of carbon that means it is carbon. Chemically it is carbon, but its physical properties make it different from carbon. And carbon is just an element having atomic number 6.

Graphite is an allotrope of carbon, which means it is chemically the same as carbon, it is completely made up of only carbon atoms, but its physical structure is different. Its unique physical structure is different that makes it different from conventional carbon elements.

Carbon is one of the important elements among 118 known elements. It is an element having atomic number six. It is the basic element of most of the compounds, and every living thing must have carbon compounds in them. It is studied separately due to its importance and vastness. The study of carbon and its compounds is known as organic chemistry.

Comparison Table Between Graphite and Carbon

Parameters of Comparison




Graphite is an allotrope of carbon.

Carbon is one of the elements among the 118 known elements.


Graphite is made from the Greek word graphein, which means ‘to-write.’

Carbon is made from the Latin word carbo, which means Charcoal.


Graphite has a hexagonal layer lattice structure.

Carbon does not have any fixed or particular structure.


Graphite occurs only in one form that is a particular structure of carbon atoms.

Carbon occurs in various forms, which results in millions of compounds of carbon.


Graphite has limited uses like coolant and lubricant.

Carbon has many uses in various forms like crude oil, nutrients, etc.

What is Graphite?

Graphite is an allotrope of carbon. Carbon has many forms and structures. Graphite is the crystalline structure of the carbon atoms. It is believed to be older than our solar system, it is the second or third oldest mineral of this universe, and it is used by human beings for thousands and lakhs of year for various purposes.

In graphite, one carbon atom is bonded with three other carbon atoms using a covalent bond. It forms a hexagonal layer of carbon atoms, layer by layer, it forms a crystal structure. It has a metal grey or blackish color with a very soft texture. It is the softest material. That’s why it is used as a lubricant.

It occurs in different forms naturally. For example, Amorphous Graphite, Lump Graphite, Highly ordered pyrolytic graphite, Crystalline Graphite are some examples of different forms of graphite. It can also be prepared artificially that looks completely like natural graphite.

It is anisotropic and feels greasy when touched. It also conducts electricity. These useful properties of Graphite make it useful in making electrodes, lubricants, insulators, etc., and the most common use of Graphite we can see in our pencils. It is mined using open pits or underground methods for making it available for different uses.