Carbochemical market

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Fives Proabd Chemtec Carbochemical-FIVES Fives in Chemtec
Fives Aluminium Green Anode Plant Sohar-FIVES Fives in Chemtec

Carbo-chemistry has been decisively accompanying the evolution of the society since the first industrial revolution and has constantly evolved to become an industry of excellence.

Carbo-chemistry appeared during the 16th century but coal chemicals recovery from Coke Oven Batteries (COB) only started in the 19th century. It became a major industry at the beginning of the 20th century.

Since World War II, the coal tar pitch business has been supporting the growth of the aluminum, carbon and graphite industries.

Coal tar is obtained as a pyrolytic by-product during the coke carbonization (at about 1,100/1,200 °C).

Once recovered, 50% of the coal tar represents a premium feedstock for the production of numerous aromatics, or poly-aromatics organic compounds. The remaining portion is coal tar pitch, which is mainly used as a binder for the manufacturing of anodes used in the aluminum production process.

Nowadays, carbochemical industry allows the production of several materials and chemical products serving downstream sectors of carbon black, aluminum, steel, construction, paints, plastics, wood preservation or other industries.

At the beginning of the 21st century, coal tar production was estimated at 10 million tons per year.

More than 85 years of innovation and R & D

Charles Ab Der-Halden patented the first coal tar distillation system in 1919. Shortly after, he developed the concept of continuous distillation under steam injection, which resulted in a decisive increase of the distillation units’ reliability and safety.

Over the years, Proabd® processes have been successfully and widely implemented in carbochemical plants all over the world. Proabd® processes include technologies for further processing all kind of downstream products recovered in the coal tar distillation.


  • Larger treatment capacities
  • Environmentally friendly units
  • Improved performance

As part of its innovation policy, Fives has developed a new generation of coal tar distillation process, the Proabd® CTD Flex+TM

Future is today with our new target: 500 kt/annum single line Coal Tar Distillation without added water!

Commitment to Environment and Safety

Carbochemical units require accurate and reliable safety measures to avoid any risks.
Since the emergence of this industry, economic and environmental pressure has been regularly increasing.
Since the 80’s, governmental authorities all over the world have been progressively and drastically increasing environmental regulations, bringing valuable incentives for better living environment but resulting in higher capital and operating expenses.
Thanks to innovation and R&D, Fives proposes process adaptations and evolutions aiming to improve the safety and to reduce the environmental footprint of Proabd® CTD units while preserving performances and profitability of the plants.


Coal tar primary distillation

Oils fractionation and valorization

Pitch reforming

Pitch granulation

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