What does carbon black come from?


Carbon black is a fine black powder that is primarily composed of elemental carbon. It is produced through the incomplete combustion or thermal decomposition of hydrocarbons, such as petroleum oil or natural gas. The most common method of producing carbon black is known as the furnace process.

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In the furnace process, hydrocarbons are heated in a controlled environment with a limited supply of oxygen. This process takes place in large furnaces or reactors. The hydrocarbons are broken down into smaller molecules, and the carbon atoms are then released and form clusters of interconnected particles. These particles are cooled and collected as carbon black.


The properties of carbon black, such as its particle size, structure, and surface area, can be controlled during the manufacturing process to produce different grades and types of carbon black. It is widely used as a reinforcing filler in the production of rubber products, plastics, inks, coatings, and other materials due to its high tensile strength, abrasion resistance, and electrical conductivity.

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