Different oxidation treatment was used for the increase of the softening point of a commercial coal tar pitch. H2SO4, HNO3, H2O2 and air are selected as treatment reagents. These preliminary investigations show that the oxidation treatment of commercial coal tar pitch with different reagents at 160degreesC and beat treatment to 250degreesC causes considerable changes in the chemical composition of obtained pitches. This leads to increase of TI and QI fraction, and results in considerable increase in the softening point of the pitches. The yield of modified pitches is considerable in the case of treatment with H2SO4, H2O2, and HNO3 and lesser in the case of air blowing. The data obtained also indicate some differences in the composition and softening point of pitches obtained after modification with different reagents. These differences could influence the applicability of the obtained pitches in the various areas of carbon material production. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.