The youngest of all carbon black manufacturing methods, the so-called furnace black method, has in the meantime achieved the greatest importance in carbon black production. Like most methods it works continuously, and liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons are used. If natural gas is available, the liquid raw material is injected into a flame generated out of natural gas and heated air. Due to the high temperature the reaction takes place in a furnace lined with ceramic material; this is where the method's name comes from. After carbon black forms the process gas mixture is abruptly cooled by injecting water to prevent troublesome consecutive reactions.
The process gases that contain carbon black then flow for further cooling through a heat exchanger that also heats up the required process air. They then reach a bag filter system to separate the stable carbon black particles from exhaust gas. The reaction exhaust gases are combustible and in most cases are therefore fed into afterburning, whereby the generated heat can be used to dry carbon black or to generate steam. The steam can be used for electricity. The separated carbon black has a particularly low apparent density; it is hard for the user to handle it in this form. Thus, it is granulated or compacted depending on the intended use.
Carbon black, water and a binding agent are transformed using the wet process into ball-shaped granules from which water is subsequently extricated in rotary dryers. Abrasion-proof pearls that can be easily conveyed, ensiled and transported are formed as a result of the binding agent additive. High shearing forces are required to incorporate these pearled carbon blacks into a polymer matrix; said forces are only come across in the rubber-processing industry.