Original Document
Original Document
Edward Goodrich Acheson describes process for the creation of artificial graphite, December 1, 1895.

My invention has as its object the complete cycle from free, pure carbon (amorphous) to free, pure carbon graphite ) and to accomplish the transformation I cause the pure amorphous carbon to form a chemical compound with one or more of the other elementary bodies and I then rend asunder the union I have just rnade, the carbon being left as graphite.

Do you get the idea? I think it a beauty.

Now we know that graphite has been formed in electric furnaces, also that it has been formed on the tips of arc-light carbons. In both cases the reactions and separation I above refer to have occurred. These are accidental. It was not known how it occurred or why it occurred. Now, I find certain conditions are essential. I have a method by which I can cause the graphite to form in the desired quantities. I have discovered it is absolutely necessary to cause the carbon to be associated with one or more elements. I find in practice this can be done in an economical way by mixing carbon with oxides of the desired elementary body and heating the mix to a high temperature, but not stopping when the compound is made, but passing on upwards to the dissolution of the newly made compound.

But then again, while this is the process used in practice, the invention is, in reality, is it not, the dissolution of the compound. The forming of the compound was not new, but it is new to know and understand that the graphite is not a direct transformation of pure amorphous carbon into the graphitic form, but is the result of the separation of the carbon from a definite compound.

Now, while I know for a fact that graphite is produced by highly heating carborundum, and that carborundum is a carbide, we must assume that the carbide compound is formed and destroyed when the process is carried right through from the crude material to the finished product, graphite.

Credit: Journal of the Society of Chemical Industry, vol. xix, p. 609, 1900.
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