A very small percentage of the total coal mined (less than 1 percent) is used in the chemical industry and to make specialty products. Coals used in the chemical industry or for specialty products generally have specific, even unique quality characteristics. High-quality coals and coal-derived tars and gases from metallurgical coking of coals in the steel-making industry are important sources of aromatic chemicals. Aromatic chemicals are carbon-based . Aromatic structures are compounds composed of six carbon atoms bonded in hexagonal ring structures. Coal and metallurgical coking byproducts derived from coal are dominated by aromatic and polycyclic aromatic compounds (more than one ring), which makes them useful feedstocks for a wide array of carbon-based chemicals ( Schobert and Song, 2002). Most of the chemicals currently produced from coal and coke byproducts can also be produced from carbon chemically derived from petroleum and natural gas refining, but some carbon compounds and chemicals are more easily derived from coal.

The simplest aromatic structure in hydrocarbons is benzene. Different compounds are formed when different elements are attached to the benzene ring. Two benzene rings bound together are the compound naphthalene. Napthalene is the simplest polycyclic aromatic compound. These and other compounds can be extracted from coal to make a wide array of carbon-based chemicals.


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Last Modified on 2017-03-30
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