Carbon is an essential element for life on Earth and parts of each of the cells in our bodies are made from it. The carbon cycle shows how atoms of this element can exist within different compounds at different times.
Stage one of the carbon cycle
The carbon cycle is easiest to understand in terms of its processes and the conversion of carbon that they undertake. The three key processes and their conversions are shown in the table below.
|Process||Carbon starts as||Carbon ends as|
|Combustion (burning)||Fuel (eg methane or wood)||Carbon dioxide|