Diamonds are beautiful, but, sadly, they’re rather expensive. Now, Dan Frost of the Bayerisches Geoinstitut in Germany has discovered that you can make them from peanut butter. No, really.
BBC Future reports that Frost has been working hard to replicate the complex crystalline structures that can be found in the lower mantle of the Earth. He thought that the process may draw in carbon dioxide, in a reaction that extracted oxygen and — because of the large pressures — spat the carbon out as diamond.
So he thought he’d try out that very reaction in the lab. Creating high pressures and then dumping in a carbon-rich material — in this case, peanut butter — he waited. (He could have used CO2, but that would have taken a very long time indeed.) “A lot of hydrogen was released that destroyed the experiment,” he says to BBC Future, “but only after it had been converted to diamond.”
While it may not bag you a discount engagement ring, the researchers do hope that the discovery could help create a new and cost-effective way of creating artificial diamonds for use in superconductors and quantum computing. And maybe, just maybe, Frost may yet work out how the mantle really formed. [BBC Future]