Carbon black is an inorganic, colloidal material produced by the incomplete combustion of natural gas or other petroleum products. It may also be known as lamp black, furnace black, acetylene black, channel black, thermal black or gas black depending on the process that produces it. Carbon black is manufactured by some form of combustion that allows the flame to impinge on a cool surface, leaving a black residue. This residue is then collected as carbon black.
In appearance, carbon black may be an intensely black amorphous powder or finely divided pellets. It is insoluble in water and solvents. It has a bulk density is 1.8-2.1 g/cm3 and a high surface-area-to-volume ratio. It is used as a black pigment for inks and paints, and in the manufacture of tires, rubber and plastic products, among other uses.