The key difference between coal tar and asphalt is that coal tar is a dark-colored substance that is collected from the destructive distillation of organic substances, whereas asphalt is obtained as a residue from the distillation of petroleum or from natural deposits.
Coal tar and asphalt are important substances in construction applications and some other applications. Both these are dark-colored substances and are hydrocarbon substances. These are collectively known as bituminous materials.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Coal Tar
3. What is Asphalt
4. Coal Tar vs Asphalt in Tabular Form
5. Summary – Coal Tar vs Asphalt
What is Coal Tar?
Coal tar can be described as a dark, thick liquid that forms as a byproduct of the production of coke from coal. It is a liquid having both medical and industrial uses. In addition, coal tar is important in the field of medicine due to its significant properties such as antifungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-itch, and antiparasitic properties. In industrial applications, coal tar is important because of its flammable nature and sealing ability.
There are two major trade names for coal tar: Balnetar and Cutar. This substance was produced in 1665 as a component important in the field of medicine. According to WHO listings, coal tar is among the safest and most effective medicines. Generally, coal tar is an important ingredient in some shampoos, soaps, and ointments. The method of administration is topical. That means we can apply it on skin or hair. It is used as a treatment for dandruff and psoriasis. Moreover, it can kill or repel lice. In medicinal applications, coal tar is used in one of two forms: as crude coal tar or as coal tar solution.
Moreover, coal tar is important in the field of construction and other industries. In construction sites, coal tar is known as a sealing agent; it is mostly used by incorporating into parking-lot seal coat products. In industrial applications, it is used in boilers for heating due to the flammable nature of coal tar. However, there are some side effects of using coal tar in different products. The common side effects include skin irritation, sun sensitivity, allergic reactions, and discoloration of the skin.
What is Asphalt?
Asphalt (also known as bitumen) is a naturally occurring dark, thick liquid that is highly viscous and sticky. We can find it in the semi-solid state as well. Besides the occurrence in natural deposits, asphalt forms as a byproduct of refining processes. The naturally occurring form of asphalt is often known as “crude bitumen.” Furthermore, this substance has a viscosity that is similar to the viscosity of cold molasses. The synthetic form of asphalt can be known as “refined bitumen.” This substance is formed from the fractional distillation of crude oil at high temperatures.
The major application of asphalt is in road construction. In this application, this substance is the glue or binder, which can be mixed with aggregates in creating asphalt concrete. Additionally, this substance is important in producing some waterproofing products, such as sealing flat roofs. The applications of asphalt are in the construction of highways, airport runways, car parks, tennis courts, roofing, dam, pipe coating, etc.
What is the Difference Between Coal Tar and Asphalt?
Coal tar and asphalt are important hydrocarbon materials. The key difference between coal tar and asphalt is that coal tar is a dark-colored substance that is collected from the destructive distillation of organic substances, whereas asphalt is obtained as a residue from the distillation of petroleum or from natural deposits.
The following table summarizes the difference between coal tar and asphalt.
Summary – Coal Tar vs Asphalt
There are many important uses for coal tar and asphalt, including in the construction industry. The key difference between coal tar and asphalt is that coal tar is a dark-colored substance that is collected from the destructive distillation of organic substances, whereas asphalt is obtained as a residue from the distillation of petroleum or from natural deposits.
1. “Asphalt.” Mineral Products.
1. “Coal tar sealant” By MPCA Photos (CC BY-NC 2.0) via Flickr
2. “Bitumen” By Daniel Tzvi – Own work (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
Leave a Reply