Chemicals from coal during coking it in a coke oven

During the process of destructive distillation of coal to obtain it in coke form. Highly valuable organic and inorganic chemical are produced. These chemicals are second in line when compared to chemical products obtained from crude petroleum (stand in front). A typical chemical plant and power plants like steel manufacturing, coke manufacturing industries constructed with coal chemicals recovery section. They includes the following main units;

  • Primary cooler block
  • Tar precipitation section
  • Ammonia sulphate unit
  • Naphthalene, anthracene recovery section
  • Benzene, toluene and xylene (BTX) process unit.

From the industrial age, coal is converted to coke and used as fuel. It is also gasified to produce liquid fuel and extracted to obtain chemicals products like:

Source for chemicals from coal

Coke oven battery section model


  • Coal gas and it derivatives
  • Ammonium thiocyanate
  • Ammonium sulphate
  • Flotation sulphur
  • Pyridine base
  • Fuel gas

Light oil and its products:

  • Solvent naphthas
  • Industrial xylols
  • Industrial toluols
  • Industrial benzols
  • Fore runnings

Tar and its chemicals from coal

  • Crude anthracene
  • Crude naphthalene
  • Tar acids
  • Tar bases
  • Tar acid oils
  • Creosote
  • Pitch oils
  • Pitch coke
  • Industrial pitches
  • Road tar
  • Refined tars
  • Fluorene
  • Diphenylene oxide
  • Acenapthene
  • Alpha methylnaphthalene
  • Beta methyl napthalene

The above chemicals from coal are the direct root out of coal processing by destructive distillation. They are further refined and processed to produce other organic chemical as derivatives. Some of the famous are given below:

Coal is subjected to number of chemical conversion process to obtain particular product, like by solvent extraction product like montan wax and cumarone resins are obtained. Carbonisation is done in steel manufacturing industries.  An idea about the concentrations of these products in a coal is determined by ultimate and proximate analysis of coal. Based on this coal process industry running conditions are determined by a process chemical engineer, with co-ordination with the coke oven engineers who would be with metallurgy and ceramic background.

Types of coal: Well coal is ranked based on its moisture percentage and ash content. Lowest rank coal is lignite and then the rank increase from bituminous coal to anthracite.  Complete list of chemical are obtained from anthracite coal because of its high content in volatile matter and fixed carbon content than other types.

Even some of the harmful chemical that affect the environment are generated during processing coal to coke formation. One of the main compound is hydrogen disulphide. It is dangerous and toxic chemical gas.