Carbon black is a material produced by the incomplete combustion of heavy petroleum products such as FCC tar, coal tar, ethylene cracking tar, or vegetable matter. Carbon black is a form of paracrystalline carbon that has a high surface-area-to-volume ratio, albeit lower than that of activated carbon. It is dissimilar to soot in its much higher surface-area-to-volume ratio and significantly lower polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon content. However, carbon black is widely used as a model compound for diesel soot for diesel oxidation experiments. Carbon black is mainly used as a reinforcing filler in tires and other rubber products. In plastics, paints, and inks, carbon black is used as a color pigment. It is used in some places, such as the EU, as a food colourant if produced from vegetable matter (E153).
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