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Coal tar

oil anthracene phenol heavy

Coal tar, heavy, black, viscous liquid liberated during the distillation of coal, the source of a number of valuable chemicals. Light oil, phenol (or medium oil), heavy oil, and anthracene oil (asphalt) are used as fuels, solvents, preservatives, lubricants, and disinfectants. The chemical products that can be extracted include benzene, toluene, xylene, phenol, pyridene, naphthalene, and anthracene, on which are based several important chemical industries, particularly Pharmaceuticals, dyes, and explosives. Coal tar itself is commonly used for street-paving; coal-tar creosote is an important wood preservative.

See also: Coal.

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