Carbon Black is a substance produced by partial combustion of petroleum products, such as coal tar, FCC tar, or ethylene cracking tar. It majorly includes fine particles of carbon. Carbon black has many characteristics that are controlled in its production by incomplete combusting gases or oils. The substance has numerous applications starting from the black ink used in the newspaper to electric conductive agents in hi-tech materials like fibres, antistatic films, and floppy disk. Carbon black is also used in large quantities in vehicle tires, which strengthens rubber excellently. In addition, it also has uses in toners, paints, resin colouring. Carbon black is produced in specially designed reactors, having an internal temperature from 2600 degrees – 3600 degrees Fahrenheit. Different grades of carbon black require dissimilar collection structure and size.
Production of carbon black:
Different processes are used to produce carbon black. These processes include furnace black process, channel black process, thermal black process, acetylene black process, and lamp black process.
Let us learn about these processes in short:
1) Furnace black process or oil furnace:
Carbon black is majorly produced with this process. It uses a shunt reactor for atomization strong aromatic oils under temperature and pressure controlled conditions. The raw material is fed into a hot gas stream and an already heated air stream that helps vaporization. It then decomposes in the form of vapour to form atomic carbon particles. In this process, the rate of reaction is controlled by water sprays or steam, which helps to cool. A continuous process is applied to this formation and is stored in the bag filters.
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2) Channel black production process:
Channel black process requires vaporization of crude oil that is fed in burners along with carrier gas. To overcome the traditional process that did not give the required impact on the structure, the channel black process is specially used to produce carbon black tints with minute particles. These particles are separated on the basis of their high oxygenic surface group content.
3) Thermal black production process:
Thermal black is a cyclic process that majorly uses methane or natural gas. Besides this, superior graded hydrocarbon oils are also significantly used. The inert atmosphere is injected with natural gas where it decomposes in hydrogen and carbon black. It comprises the largest size of particles in the lowest degrees of structure. Since the carbon black in this process is made with natural gas, is is also considered as one of the purest forms of carbon.
4) Acetylene black production process:
Acetylene is the highly pure carbon made in shut reactors that is acquired by thermal decomposition of ethyne (acetylene). Due to the heavy production process, this type of carbon is distinguished from other forms. Acetylene carbon blacks are present in the form of powder since they are distinguished by high-structure, making it difficult to densify and palletize them. This type of carbon black is basically used as conductive blacks for electric purposes, plastic applications, and others.
5) Lampblack production:
This is the most traditional form of producing carbon black. The heating process is performed on a cast-iron pan with the raw materials. A healthy heart is given from the hood that vaporises the raw materials with incomplete combustion.
How carbon gained popularity!
Owing to improvements in several materials, carbon black has also gained several developments, especially in the manufacturing process that have increased its applications. Moreover, the traditionally used fillers are also replaced by carbon black due to unique capabilities to improve the characteristics of any base elastomer systems.
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