A Dictionary of Arts: Black Pigment.

A Dictionary of Arts, Manufactures, and Mines; containing A Clear Exposition of Their Principles and Practice

by Andrew Ure, M. D.;
F. R. S. M. G. S. Lond.: M. Acad. M. S. Philad.; S. PH. DOC. N. GERM. Ranow.; Mulh. Etc. Etc.

Illustrated with nearly fifteen hundred engravings on wood
Eleventh American, From The Last London Edition.
To which is appended, a Supplement of Recent Improvements to The Present Time.

New York: D Appleton & company, 200 Broadway. Philadelphia: George S. Appleton, 148 Chestnut St.


BLACK PIGMENT. The finest light black is prepared principally for the manufacturing of printers' ink. In Messrs. Martn and Grafton's patent process, the black is obtained by burning common coal-tar, which should, however, be previously divested, as much as possible, of the ammoniacal liquor and acid mixed with it in the tank.

For this purpose, it is proposed that four casks should be employed, each capable of holding 130 gallons, and into every one of them are to be put about 60 gallons of the rough impure tar, to which a n equal quantity of lime-water is to be added, and then agitated by machinery or manual labor until the lime-water is completely mixed with the tar. The vessels should next be suffered to rest for about six hours, by which time the tar will settle at the bottom of the casks, and the water may be drawn off. The casks containing the tar should now be filled with hot water, which may be supplied from the boiler of a steam engine, and the whole again agitated as before. This process may be repeated three times, suffering the tar to subside between each; and twelve hours should be allowed for settling from the last water, so that the whole of the tar and water may become separated, the water rising to the top of the cask, and the tar being left at the ottom in a pure state.

But, as some of the water will yet remain mechanically combined with the tar, it is proposed that the tar should be subjected to the process of distillation. For this purpose, a still, capable of holding 120 gallons, may be employed, in which about 50 gallons at one time may be operated upon; when, by a gentle heat, the water, and other impurities which the tar may have retained, will be driven off. As soon as the water appears to have evaporated, and the spirit runs fine and clear, the process of distillation should be stopped; and, when cold, the pure tar may be drawn off, and set apart for the purpose of being employed as contemplated in the patent.

The tar thus purified may be now converted into black, or it may be subjected to further rectification to divest it of the mineral pitch, or asphaltum, which is combined with the oil and spirit: the latter ist o be preferred, because the mineral pitch, or asphaltum, is only inflammable at a high temperature, which renders it more troublesome to use in the process here contemplated, and also would cause the apparatus to require frequent cleaning from the carbonized pitch deposited. In order, therefore, to get rid of the mineral pitch, or asphaltum, forty gallons of the tar are to be introduced into a still, as before; and, instead of stopping the operation, as soon as the spirit begins to come over, the distillation is continued with a strong heat, so as to force over the whole of the oil and spirit, leaving the residuum of asphaltum in the sitll; this process, however, is know to every chemist, and need not be further explained.

In fig. 115, is exhibited a rude representation of the apparatus employed in preparing and collecting the fine light spirit black, produced by the combustion of oil and spirit of coal-tar, after it has been purified as above described. a is the brickwork which supports a number of burners issuing from a tube, b, within, and here shown by dots, as passing along its whole length. Fig. 116 is a section of the brickwork, with the tube, burder, and receiver, as will be described hereafter. The tube may be called the tar main, as it is intended to be filled with tar: it is constructed of cast iron, and from it issue several (in this figure twenty-four) jets or burners, c, c, c; any other number may be employed. d is a furnace under the tar main, the flue of which extends along, for the purpose of heating the tar in the boiling point, in order to facilitate the process. From the main, b, the tar flows into the hets c; wicks are introduced into the jets, and, when set fire to, by a red-hot stick, will burn and emit a very considerable quantity of smoke; which it in the object of this apparatus to conduct through many passages, for the purpose of collecting its sooty particles.

There are a number of hoods e, e, e, or bonnets, as they are termed, all of which, through their pipes, have communication with, or lead into a main chimney, f, f. Into these hoods or bonnets the smoke of the burners ascends, and from thence passes into the main chimney f, an thence through the smoke tubes into the box g; here the heaviest particles of the black deposite themselves; but, as the smoke passes on through the further pipes, a deposite of the second, or finer, particles of black takes place in the box h.from hence the smoke proceeds through other pipes into a series of canvass bags, i, i, i, which are proposed to be about eighteen feet long, and three in diameter. These bags are connected together at top and bottom alternately, and through the whole series the smoke passes up one bag and down the next, depositing fine black, called spirit black, upon the sides of the canvass. After the hets have continued burning for several days, the bags are to be beaten with a stick, so that the black may fall to the bottom; and, when a sufficient quantity has accumulated, the bags may be emptied and swept out. Thus seventy or eighty bags may be employed; so that the smoke should pass through a length of about 400 yards, the farthest of which will be found to contain the finest black. The last bag should be left open, in order to allow the vapor to escape into the open air.

The main tar tube will require to be emptied every four or five days, in order to clear it from the pitchy matter that may have subsided from the burners, and they also will require to be frequently poked with a wire, to clear off the black which forms upon the edges, and to drive down the carbonized tar which attaches itself to the upper part of the jets.

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