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  1. The carbochemical industry at Industrial Química del Nalón, S.A.

The carbochemical industry at Industrial Química del Nalón, S.A.

The carbochemical industry at Industrial Química del Nalón, S.A.

The starting point of the carbochemical industry is coking coal. This raw material determines the main characteristics of the products to be obtained from its industrial processing.

Coking coal is firstly transformed into coke at the coke oven battery. The process consists in a carbonization at temperatures close to 900ºC

In this process, coking coal becomes coke, generating at the same time two main by-products: coke oven gas and high temperature coal tar.

The Carbochemical industry world Coke oven gas Coking coal Carbonization process Coke Power Plant Stone-wool Iron foundry Non-ferrous foundry Basic chemical High temperature coal tar BTX fraction Naphtalene Other Technical oils Anthracene oils Pitch Ftalic anhydride b-naphtol Superplastifiers Tanning and colouring Tretalin / Decalin Carbon black Aluminium Graphite Cathode Others

Among other applications coke is mainly used at:

  • Iron foundry.
  • Insulation sector.
  • Non-ferrous smelting.
  • Basic chemicals industry.

Coke oven gas is a noncondensable gas, which is generated at the carbonization process. Due to its high energy capacity it is used partly as fuel at the process itself and partly for electric power generation.

High temperature coal tar is defined as a condensed product obtained by cooling down the gas generated during the carbonization process.

Coal tar is a black, sticky liquid thicker than water, which is mainly composed of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, phenolic compounds, aromatic nitrogenous bases and its alkilic derivatives.

Coal tar is the main raw material from which the major part of the carbochemical activitiy is carried out.

High temperature coal tar distillation is oriented to obtaining pitch as main product, though during this process many other products are obtained:

  • BTX fraction (benzene, toluene, xylene).
  • Naphthalene.
  • Technical oils.
  • Anthracene oil.
  • Pitch.

Binder and impregnating pitches with different qualities and characteristics are obtained when distilling coal tar. These characteristics depend on the industrial sector where pitches are to be sold. The basic applications of pitch are:

  • Aluminium industry.
  • Graphite industry.
  • Cathodes.
  • Other applications (needle coke, refractory materials, etc.).

Besides pitch, naphthalene is also a very important fraction obtained from coal tar distillation. Naphthalene has multi-sectorial uses with a variety of applications::

  • Ftalic anhydride.
  • β-naftol.
  • Concrete superplastifiers.
  • Tanning and colouring agents.
  • Tetralin / Decalin.

Anthracene oil is used as a raw material for carbon black manufacture. The rest of technical oils are used in several industrial applications.

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