carbon black, mixture of partially burned hydrocarbons. Carbon black is produced by partial combustion of natural gas. It is used as a black pigment for inks and paints, and is used in large amounts by the tire industry in the production of vulcanized rubber. Lampblack resembles carbon black, but is produced by burning liquid hydrocarbons, e.g., kerosene; it is often somewhat oily, is duller than carbon black, and may have a bluish undertone. It is sometimes used in making contact brushes for electrical apparatus.