coal tar By-product from the manufacture of coke. Coal tar comes from bituminous coal used in the distillation process. It is a volatile substance, important for its organic chemical constituents (coal-tar crudes), which are extracted by further distillation. These include xylene, toluene, naphthalene and phenanthrene, and are the basic ingredients for the synthesis of many products, such as explosives, drugs, dyes and perfumes.
coal tar • n. a thick black liquid produced by the destructive distillation of bituminous coal. It contains benzene, naphthalene, phenols, aniline, and many other organic chemicals.
coal tar (kohl) n. see tar.
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