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See also: coaltar and coal-tar



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coal tar (countable and uncountable, plural coal tars)

  1. A black, viscous tar made by the destructive distillation of coal (to make coke and town gas); it contains a great number of compounds including hydrocarbons and phenols; used in the preparation of medicated soap and shampoo, and industrially for the manufacture of very many products.
    • 1989, Alain Chauvel, Gilles Lefebvre, Petrochemical Processes: Major Oxygenated, Chlorinated And Nitrated Derivatives, p. 123:
      Phenol can be obtained from coal tars by two methods : (a) Directly by separation of the product contained in this type of feedstock, at the rate of 0.5 to 1.5 per cent weight.