Coal tar pitch is a byproduct of turning coal into coke or coal gas. It is a sticky, dark brown or black liquid that resists flowing and has a very strong smell. The actual components that make up coal tar pitch vary because the chemicals in the coal it comes from differ. Even so, it coal tar pitch is primarily made up of a wide variety of different phenols and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. While coal tar does have medicinal uses in treating some skin conditions, it is primarily burned as a low-cost fuel or further processed into other materials.