Closing the loop to minimize environmental impacts
Aromatic chemicals from coal are chemical intermediates with unique properties.
However, with coal tar and light oil being a by-product of steel production, the additional advantage in the total lifecycle is that no natural resources need to be consumed specifically for producing these substances , thanks to raw materials coming from coke oven operations.
The coal chemicals industry converts valuable byproducts from steel mills into useful chemical raw materials, and consequently helps close the materials cycles to the largest extent possible.
Coal tar and benzole also have an alternative use as fuel. However, this use only recovers the heating value of the substance when in fact their value can be multiplied through the appropriate applications.
While aromatic hydrocarbons, to which coal chemicals belong, are known valuable contributors in numerous production processes, their release in the environment must be minimized. Coal tar refineries and coal chemical plants are high-integrity systems equipped with a wide range of technologies used to prevent product escaping to workers and the environment.
In addition, the industry is continuously striving to ensure to be the best in class in safety, hygiene and environmental protection.
Coal chemicals are a perfect illustration of the circular economy - they are by-products used to create new valuable resources.