Coal tar pitch

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  • Liquid coal tar pitch is a black, dense hydrocarbon liquid that has a strong, aromatic coal tar odour. It is stored at high temperatures (200 degrees C). This substance is used in the aluminium smelting industry as a binder in the manufacture of carbon anodes. The fumes from this hot liquid are heavier than air and tend to settle in low lying areas, until blown away by wind.
  • Crude Coal Tar received from by-product coke oven plants is heated to temperatures up to 400oC in specially designed distillation stills. This removes moisture, Naphthalene, Light Creosote Oil and Heavy Creosote Oil from the Coal Tar. The resultant product is called Coal Tar Pitch. Depending on the blend of Crude Coal Tar and the temperatures to which the distillation is carried out different grades of Coal Tar Pitch are produced.
  • Coal tars and coal-tar pitches are known to be human carcinogens based on sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity from studies in humans.
  • Coal-tar pitches are used primarily as the binder for aluminum smelting electrodes. They are also used in roofing materials, to impregnate and strengthen refractory brick (for lining industrial furnaces), and in surface coatings, such as pipe-coating enamels and black varnishes used as protective coatings for industrial steelwork and as antifouling paints for boats.
  • Occupational exposure to coal tars and coal-tar pitches may occur at foundries and during coke production, coal gasification, and aluminum production.
  • Yearly Supply of Coal Tar Is 6 MM Barrels (Less Than the Volume of Crude Oil Processed Each Day) and Yearly Supply of Potential Pitch Feedstocks Is 326 MM Barrels.
  • Coal tar pitch from wood is used in soap, food, and medical applications, while coal tar derivatives can be found in dyes and cosmetics. One of the predominant uses for coal tar derivatives is construction material. Coal tar pitch has been used as the base media for coatings and adhesives for many years, including roofing bitumen.
  • Built-up commercial coal tar pitch roofing has historically provided long lasting and sustainable protection for the building envelope. The inherent waterproof nature of coal tar pitch provides a tight waterproof roof construction. The self-healing properties of coal tar pitch tend to bridge small deformities created by debris, stress movement, hail, and other surface punctures. Further, coal tar pitch is highly chemically resistant, resisting exposure to a large variety of acids, bases, and solvents.
  • These properties have led to some of the most sustainable roof systems available in the market place. It is not unusual to observe coal tar pitch roofs that last up to 40 years.

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