Carbon black

Also known as: Furnace black

Carbon black is a specialty product, comprised of solid carbon in a fine powder form.

Carbon black from petroleum is typically produced by thermal decomposition and partial combustion of highly aromatic resid material, especially FCC slurry and pitch from a steam cracker.

The major uses for carbon black are as a filler in rubber (tire) production and as a pigment (black) in inks and paints.

For a refiner, carbon black production is a route to increasing the value of FCC slurry which is otherwise a very low value product, usually blended into residual fuel oil.

Few refiners have on-site carbon black plants. Most are stand alone, third-party plants that source FCC slurry from multiple refineries.

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