New recipe for diamonds: Just add acid


Simulations of the Earth’s depths reveal a previously unknown way diamonds can form.

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A boost in acidity deep inside Earth may yield some serious bling.

Simulating the chemistry, pressures and temperatures in Earth’s interior, scientists have discovered a new way diamonds can form. Chemical reactions between rocks and ion-rich fluids can spark a drop in pH that spurs diamond creation, geochemists at Johns Hopkins University report online November 3 in Nature Communications.

The work marks the first time pH has been explored as a possible instigator of diamond genesis; it also could provide insights into how the planet’s innards have changed over time, the researchers say. 

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