Give Now  »

wfiu logo
WFIU Public Radio

wtiu logo
WTIU Public Television

Choose which station to support!

Indiana Public Media | WFIU - NPR | WTIU - PBS

Noon Edition

Peanut Butter Diamonds

You probably have some peanut butter in the cabinet right? Well, get it out, we're making diamonds!

As it turns out, peanut butter contains quite a lot of carbon. As diamonds are crystals made of pure carbon, many carbon rich materials, like peanut butter, can be transformed into diamonds under the right conditions.

Normally diamonds form deep in the earth under high temperatures and intense pressure. To turn peanut butter into diamonds, scientists would have to recreate these conditions.

At around 3,000 degrees, and over 5 million pounds per square inch, the carbon bonds within the peanut butter will break down, allowing them to be reformed as diamonds.

However, diamonds made from peanut butter are generally very small. The largest produced to date are no bigger than sesame seeds. Also, unlike diamonds formed naturally, these synthetic diamonds capture nitrogen from the air, giving them a greenish or yellowish hue. One look at these peanut butter diamonds, and it would be clear they are not quite the real thing.

To manufacture gem-quality diamonds, you would be better off using graphite, which has much more carbon than peanut butter.

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About A Moment of Science