sharing our knowledge.
Photographic gallery.  Thousands of particles under the microscope.

Pencil Debris

This is from an environmental tapelift collected in a school classroom. The yellow particle just to the upper right of the center of this image is from the yellow paint on the surface of the pencil. The vehicle of this paint is acetone soluble so the acetone soak in preparing this tapelift for analysis dissolved the vehicle and the paint pigment and filler coalesced into an ellipsoid due to surface tension. The black particles that show the light tan highlights are from the pencil lead. A small sawdust particle is left of center (white elongated particle) in this image.

Transmitted Off Circular Polarized Light and Reflected Darkfield Illumination


Pencil debris includes the carbon fragments from the "lead" of the pencil, wood sawdust, and paint from the surface of the pencil. The carbon fragments are actually a blend of clay and graphite.

Significance in the Environment:

Characteristic Features:

Graphite is relatively reflective and so the particles from the pencil lead are speckled when viewed
with reflected light.

Associated Particles: