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Think of it this way, graphite and diamond are both made of carbon, and graphite has a lower free energy, so diamond wants to convert into graphite. However, although the reaction should proceed this way (the product(graphite) is more stable that the reactant(diamond) ), it doesn’t. The reaction described is thermodynamically favorable (negative deltaG). But it is also a very slow reaction. It is not possible for the diamond to break all of its bond and form new bonds to make graphite. This is because the activation energy needed by diamond to reform its bonds into the form of graphite is too high. Therefore, this reaction is thermodynamically favorable but kinetically unfavorable.
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