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The goverment of Africa decided that it would no longer tolerate the diamond mafia, so the corporation of DeBeers was hunted down and disbanded, to put it lightly. Now, all the diamond mines have been opened to the world and the world has been flooded with a supply of diamonds, bringing the cost of diamond lower than the cost of fresh water, being nearly as plentiful.

My Corporation was able to acquire a vast quantity of diamond for manufacturing use, practically an infinite amount for all practical purposes. However, all of it has almost no value. I couldn't even trade it for water if that gives some perspective to the value of these rocks. Everybody already has it, so they don't need to buy any from me. All I have is this vast supply of raw diamond and a fully equipped lab with the latest real military-grade state-of-the-art equipment.

Lasers would seem like the easiest option, but unfortunately the power is out due to a planetary EMP (part of the reason for the space elevator race), so we won't be able to use lasers. Also, fire is not possible due to a fire dampening field surrounding our lab, and we are also locked in our lab until we achieve our result.

At the same time as the global diamond flood, progress was made on the space elevator, and the governments of USA and China are in a battle against the Corporations including my own for who will achieve the space elevator first. The problem is that it requires graphene, and progress toward graphene production is still nowhere near enough to build the elevator even in 100 years.

My senior material physicist came to me this afternoon and told me that we could use this diamond which is basically compacted carbon to build the elevator, if only we knew how to convert it back into its original state, or directly into graphene.

How can I convert enough of these diamonds relatively quickly into another form of carbon or even directly to graphene so my Corporation can build the space elevator first?

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  • $\begingroup$ If the process is reversible then maybe we don't need space elevator... $\endgroup$ – user6760 Jan 21 at 10:54
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You don't. You use CO2 as an intermediary.

Converting diamond directly to any other solid would be extremely slow. Diamond is extremely stable, and simply heating it up would not do much to convert it rapidly to graphite. It would just be too slow.

What you want to do it to burn it. The chemistry is rather simple:

C(s) + O2(g) = CO2(g)

This reaction is also kind of slow, but it could be sped up by using a strong and hot oxygen torch.

There are plenty of examples on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=burning+diamond

Alternatively, you might want to drop the heated diamonds into liquid oxygen. This is equally easy, sas evident in the following videos: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=burning+diamond+liquid+oxygen

You will need to collect the CO2 in the exhaust of your diamond burning facility. Converting CO2 to other non-diamond forms of carbon is relatively straightforward.

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