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Question

A solid element X has four electrons in the outermost shell of its atom. An allotrope Y of this element is used as a dry lubricant in machinery and also in making pencil leads.
(a) What is element X?
(b) Name the allotrope Y.
(c) State whether allotrope Y is a good conductor or non-conductor of electricity.
(d) Name one use of allotrope Y (other than lubrication and pencil leads)
(e) Name two other allotropes of element X.

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Solution

(a) The solid element 'X' is carbon, which has four electrons in the outermost shell of its atom.
(b) Graphite is the allotrope 'Y' of carbon which is used as a dry lubricant in machinery, and also in making pencil leads.
(c) Graphite (Y) is a good conductor of electricity because of the presence of free electrons in its crystal.
(d) Graphite (Y) is used in making carbon electrodes or graphite electrodes in dry cells and electric arcs.
(e) Diamond and buckminsterfullerene are the two other allotropes of carbon.


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