Heavy oils are heated in a feedstock under high temperatures of 440 °C to 520 °C and under pressures of 1 kg/cm2 to 10 kg/cm2. This process separates the cokable materials and cracked products. Gas oil, LPG, and other natural gases evaporate and the petroleum coke settles at the bottom in the form of residue.
The residue is nothing but petroleum needle coke, which is the desired product. Needle coke is a high quality product used for the manufacturing of graphite electrodes, which are used in high power electric furnaces in the steel industry. The calcined form of needle coke is the raw material for the production of graphite electrodes in the iron manufacturing industry. It offers superior properties such as less breakage, low electric resistance, and low coefficient of thermal expansion. This is likely to boost the petroleum needle coke market.
The petroleum needle coke market is primarily driven by demand for graphite electrodes from the steel industry. High demand for steel from industries such as automotive, transport, building & construction, electrical engineering, consumer goods, foil & packaging, machinery & equipment, and others is propelling the steel industry. A factor restraining the global petroleum needle coke market is strict environmental regulations on the use of petroleum coke. Furthermore, the market is also affected by the highly volatile prices of fuel. In terms of application, petroleum needle coke is utilized in the steel industry for the production of graphite electrodes, high power intermediates, carbon materials, and surging carbon intermediates.
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