Creosote is made from a wide range of chemicals and is divided into two types. The first type is wood creosote which is created through the heating of beechwood or creosote bush. The more common type of creosote is created when coal is heated to produce coke (a cleaner burning form of coal) or natural gas. This process produces coal tar creosote, coal tar, and coal tar pitch, which are all mixtures of similar compounds and are referred to here simply as creosote.
Creosote is obtained from high temperature distillation of coal tar (itself a mixture of hundreds of organic substances), and over 100 components in creosote have been identified. It is used as a fungicide, insecticide, miticide, and sporicide to protect wood and is applied by pressure methods to wood products, primarily utility poles and railroad sleepers.
Uses of Creosote
1) Railway Sleepers
Railroad ties are manufactured and treated with creosote to stand up to weathering and the pressure under rail lines. Ties might last for 25 to 50 years on the track before they are recycled to different uses based on their condition. Some of these ties find their way into the landscaping business and into people?s backyards as retaining walls and borders for flowerbeds.
2) Utility Poles
Utility Poles are manufactured and treated with creosote to withstandweathering and to ensure they keep the lines up. Utility Poles might last for 25 to 30 years before they are recycled to different uses based on their condition.
3) "Liquid Smoke"
Liquid smoke is a substance produced from smoke passed through a tube from a combustion chamber filled with select wood chips to a condenser. In the condenser, the smoke cools and forms a liquid, aided by the addition of water. Liquid smoke is used for both food preservation and flavoring. It consists primarily of creosote and other constituents of smoke. Creosote is the ingredient that gives liquid smoke its function; guaicol lends to the taste and the creosote oils help act as the preservative.
4) Medical Uses
It is used to produce guaifenesin that is commonly found in most over the counter cough syrups. Brands such as Mucinex, Robitussin DAC, Cheratussin DAC, Robitussin AC, Cheratussin AC, Benylin, DayQuil Mucous Control, Meltus, and Bidex 400.
So creosote as product is all around us!