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Every beaker that I have seen in a lab is made of glass. Glass, as I understand, is made of SiO2, or silicon dioxide, which has a crystalline structure that is similar to diamond. This property causes both diamonds and glass to be chemically inert. My question is, (ignoring the costs and technicalities of production), could beakers be feasibly made out of diamonds? Following up on this question, are there solutions that can dissolve glass effectively? What about solutions that can dissolve diamonds?

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  • $\begingroup$ No feasibility as there is no significant chemical advantage over the glass and the cost involved. $\endgroup$ – M. Farooq Jan 16 at 19:40
  • $\begingroup$ Don't omit that burning diamond is difficult but it can be done. $\endgroup$ – Alchimista Jan 17 at 12:38
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Diamonds are chemically inert. They burn at very high temperatures, but apart from this, they don't react. They are insoluble in all sorts of solvents, with the exceptions of iron above its melting point (~1500°C}. Glass is not really chemically inert. It is slowly attacked by concentrated solution of NaOH, or by pure NaOH above its melting point. It is also attacked by hydrofluoric acid HF.

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  • $\begingroup$ Does diamond really dissolve in iron, but as what? By dissolution, I mean one can recover them after dissolving iron in acid. Never $\endgroup$ – M. Farooq Jan 16 at 19:38
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    $\begingroup$ Iron with dissolved carbon is steel. Can you get carbon from steel by dissolving iron in an acid? I don't think so. $\endgroup$ – Ivan Neretin Jan 16 at 19:44
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    $\begingroup$ When diamond is dissolved into iron, it cannot be recovered later on after dissolving in an acid. The only substance to be recovered is amorphous carbon, or iron carbide. $\endgroup$ – Maurice Jan 16 at 20:29
  • $\begingroup$ Diamonds are less chemically inert that lab glassware. For example they will burn at temperatures which would merely melt lab glassware (which is done to manipulate it into different shapes.). $\endgroup$ – matt_black Jan 17 at 1:58
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    $\begingroup$ The comment above makes me to want point out that dissolving something it just means getting it dissolved. Finer details and mechanisms are not included in asserting that X dissolves Y. $\endgroup$ – Alchimista Jan 17 at 12:44

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