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.
Based on type, the petroleum needle coke market can be segmented into intermediate, premium, and super premium grades coke depending upon the sulfur content. Lower the sulfur content, higher is the grade of coke. The grades are decided based on the fineness of the coke. Super premium grade coke is used for the manufacturing of the ultra-high power graphite electrodes, which are used in electric arc furnaces in the steel and aluminum industry. Super premium grade sulfur offers superior properties such as low ash, low sulfur content, and low coefficient of thermal expansion. Premium coke and intermediate coke is used less in the steel and aluminum industries as compared to super premium grade coke.
In terms of geography, the petroleum needle coke market can be classified into North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and Middle East & Africa. The market in Asia pacific is expected to expand at the significant rate during the forecast period, due to heavy demand from the steel and aluminum industries. China is estimated to be a significant producer and consumer of petroleum needle coke in the Asia Pacific region. Production of petroleum needle coke in India is expected to rise due to increase in demand from the construction and building industries. The market in North America is expected to expand at a moderate pace over the forecast period, owing to technological advancements in the region. The petroleum needle coke market in Europe is expected to be stable due to steady demand from the steel industry. The market in Latin America and Middle East & Africa is expected to expand at a sluggish pace during the forecast period.
Key players operating in the global petroleum needle coke market include Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, Royal Dutch Shell Plc., Phillips 66, Essar Oil Ltd, Seadrift Coke LP, Baotailong New Material Co., Ltd., JXTG Holdings, Inc. Petrochina International Jinzhou Petrochemical Co., Ltd., Reliance Industries Ltd, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, C-Chem CO., LTD., PETROLEUM COKE INDUSTRIES CO. (K.S.C), , Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Company Limited, Shanxi Hongte Coal Chemical Co Ltd., and Shijiazhuang Deli Chemical Co.
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The Needle Coke market is segmented by Type (Petroleum Derived and Coal-tar Pitch Derived), Application (Graphite Electrodes, Lithium-Ion Battery, and Other Applications), and Geography (Asia-Pacific, North America, Europe, South America, and Middle-East and Africa). The report offers market size and forecast for Building Insulation Materials in volume (kilo tons) for all the above segments.
The global needle coke market stood at 1,209.52 kilo tons in 2020 and is estimated to register a CAGR of around 12%, over the forecast period (2021-2026). The major factors driving the growth of the market studied are the growing demand for lithium-ion batteries and the rising availability of steel scrap in China.
Needle coke is used as a primary raw material for graphite electrodes in an electric furnace. Over the past few years, owing to several technological advancements, needle coke is been majorly used to make the carbon anode of lithium-ion batteries. The global needle coke market is segmented by type, application, and geography. By type, the market is segmented into Petroleum Derived and Coal-tar Pitch Derived. On the basis of application, the market is segmented into Graphite Electrodes, Lithium-Ion Battery, and Other Applications. The report also covers the market sizes and forecasts for the Building Insulation Materials market in 11 countries across major regions. For each segment, the market sizing and forecasts have been done on the basis of revenue (USD million).
Needle coke is used as a primary raw material for graphite electrodes in an electric furnace. It is a premium grade, high-value petroleum coke used in the manufacturing of graphite electrodes of a very low coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) for the electric arc furnaces in the steel industry. When making the electrodes, it takes up to six months to make with processes, including baking and rebaking to convert the coke into graphite. Graphite has high thermal conductivity and is very resistant to heat and impact. It also has low electrical resistance, which is needed to conduct the large electrical currents necessary to melt iron, and thus can sustain sustaining the extremely high levels of heat generated in EAF (Electric Arc Furnace).
Graphite electrodes are divided into 4 Types: RP Graphite electrodes, HP Graphite electrodes, SHP Graphite electrodes, and UHP Graphite electrodes. The Graphite electrodes are primarily used in the electric arc furnace steel manufacturing, alloy steel, various alloys, and nonmetals melting. These electrodes can provide high levels of generated heat, and they are also used in the refinement of steel and similar smelting processes. These graphite electrodes can melt iron scrap in an electric arc furnace at a temperature of about 1600.
China is the both the largest manufacturer and consumer of the graphite electrode across the world. Over the past few years, graphite electrode witnessed a significant rise in prices. The COVID-19 outbreak has negatively affected the production of graphite electrode across the world and has caused major supply chain disruptions. The above-mentioned factors are likely to affect the demand for needle coke for graphite electrode application during the forecast period.
In Asia-Pacific, China is the largest economy, in terms of GDP. In 2019, the country witnessed about 6.1% growth in its GDP, despite the trade disturbance, due to the trade war, with the United States. The country was by far the worst affected nation in the first few months of 2020 with the virus outbreak originating in the country itself. All the major manufacturing industries have taken a major hit as the entire nation has gone into the self-quarantine situation to contain the virus outbreak during most of Q1 2020 and early periods of Q2 2020. According to the International Monitory Fund (IMF) projections, the Chinese GDP growth was forecasted to be 1.9% in 2020, due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the country. It is expected to recover and reach 8.2% by the end of 2021. According to the National Bureau of Statistics of China, in the first three months of 2020, the total industrial output in the country has fallen by 13.5%, 13.5%, and 1.1%, respectively. China's industrial production rebounded sharply in April due to the government's push for work resumption and easing lockdown measures. In April 2020, total industrial output in the country witnessed 3.9% growth Y-o-Y over April 2019.
Although China is the first country affected by the COVID-19 and its related lockdown, it is the first country that has come out of the lockdowns and is starting its long journey toward normalcy. However, as a major chunk of the Chinese economy is linked to foreign exports, where demand is still low will negatively affect the Chinese industry in the near future. China holds the largest share in terms of consumption and production capacity of graphite electrodes in the global scenario, thus, presenting the scope for the steel production in the country, thus, further displaying the demand in the needle coke market during the forecast period. Chinese manufacturers rushed to install capacity for graphite electrodes from the time the country began to commit heavily to higher rates of steel production via electric arc furnace in 2017. The capacities of electric arc furnaces have increased in recent times, with an increase of nearly 70 million metric ton in 2019. In addition to it, the Government of China is also focusing on developing eco-friendly means of producing steel. Several hundred thousand metric ton of new capacity of electric arc furnace is already in the pipeline. Currently, about 20% of the steel is produced from electric arc furnaces in the country.
China is one of the largest consumers as well as the importer of needle coke, because of its higher graphite electrode manufacturing capacities and vast market. The graphite electrode manufacturers are mainly focused on the production of UHP graphite electrodes for steel manufacturing, thereby, propelling the market for needle coke during the forecast period. China is the largest steel manufacturing country in the world. In 2019, China produced around 996.3 million ton of steel compared to the total global steel production of 1868.8 million ton which is more than 50% of the global steel production. China is the single largest producer of lithium-ion batteries in the world. In 2019, the was more than 316 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of global lithium battery manufacturing capacity. China is estimated to hold more than 70% of this capacity indicating the country occupying a significant share of the demand for the needle coke. The newly installed capacities of batteries reached 5.9 GWh till October 2020.
The growing demand for graphite electrodes and lithium-ion batteries is expected to drive the market during the forecast period. The COVID-19 pandemic presented a problematic situation in the production of graphite electrodes and lithium-ion batteries in the country earlier in the year. However, the conditions are better now, which has strengthened the probability of market recovery over the forecast period.
The needle coke market stands to be a consolidated market, and the top 7 players accounted for over 48% of the global production capacity in 2020. While the market had been highly concentrated till 2018, with numerous capacity additions observed in 2019 and 2020 (majorly in the Chinese market), the market shares held by major players in the global market also witnessed noteworthy adjustments. Some of the major players in the market include Phillips 66 Company, Shandong Jingyang Technology Co. Ltd, C-Chem CO., Ltd., Shanxi Hongte Coal Chemical Co., Ltd., and Shandong Yida Rongtong Trading Co. Ltd, among others.
Needle coke is also otherwise known as acicularcoke. It refers to an extremely crystalline petroleum coke that is utilized in the making of electrodes for aluminum and steel industries. Needle coke is considered valuable, as electrodes need to be replaced on a regular basis. The growing importance of the product is estimated to bolster growth of the global needle coke market in the years to come.
A rise in the number of electric vehicles has resulted in the surging demand for needle coke. A shift in preference of consumers toward electric cars is generating immense opportunities for the producers of lithium-ion batteries. These batteries find increased scope of use in battery electric vehicles (BEV) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEV). This factor is likely to support growth of the global needle coke market over the tenure of assessment.
The hybrid electric vehicles industry has experienced considerable growth in the last few years due to the formulation of favorable policies by the government. In addition, increased awareness about the need to reduce carbon emissions in the environment and volatile pricing are likely to shoot up the demand for hybrid electric vehicles. This in turn is likely to boost growth of the global needle coke market in the forthcoming years.
Needle coke is basically the main raw material that is utilized for the purpose of production of graphite electrodes made using arc furnace in the industries of aluminum and steel. Needle coke exhibits various superior characteristics, which include the following such as
Such multiple benefits of the product is anticipated to support growth of the global needle coke market. Needle coke accounts for more than 40% of the total raw material cost in the making of graphite electrodes.
The needle coke market is expected to witness major growth in the near future, thanks to a growing demand for steel. The market is expected to register 4.0% CAGR during 2018-2026 and reach US$ 5.18 bn by 2026 end. Needle coke is primarily used for the manufacturing of graphite electrodes for EAF steel. It is a highly crystalline coke and is made using fluid catalytic cracking decant oil in its initial stages as a petroleum derived product. On the other hand, coal tar needle coke is obtained as a byproduct of low ash cooking and distillation process. The distillation process enables manufacturers to turn coal tar into various intermediate chemicals. The growing demand for steel, cost-effectiveness of needle coke products, and growing advances in the field are expected to register steady growth for the needle coke market in the near future.
The needle coke market is divided into coal tar pitched and petroleum derived. Among these, the petroleum based product is expected to drive growth of the needle coke market. The segment is witnessing a robust demand, despite the presence of only a handful global suppliers. The growth in the segment is driven by growing demand from China and India, major suppliers of Steel. Additionally, essential qualities of needle coke such as puffing rate, low coefficient of thermal expansion, and large particle size are advantageous to end-industries. This is further expected to drive growth for the needle coke market in the near future. The products offer less breakage, low electric resistance, and coefficient of thermal expansion.
The needle coke market is segmented on the basis of application into lithium-ion battery, graphite electrode, and others. Among these, the needle coke market is expected to witness the highest demand in graphite electrodes. These are growing in demand as demand in Asia Pacific continues to rise. Rising infrastructural development, growing manufacturing in Asia Pacific, and China as a major producer of needle coke are expected to drive it further. Additionally, the lithium-ion batteries segment is expected to witness healthy growth, thanks to growing demand for smartphoneand various wearable devices. However, the graphite electrodes segment is expected to dominate the market during the forecast period.
The needle coke market is growing in applications and due to rise in quality as well. For example, the needle coke market is divided into premium, intermediate, and super premium based on grade. Among these, the super-premium segment is likely to witness the highest growth and register a significant CAGR during the forecast period. The high quality of these products and growing applications in consumer electronics and infrastructure developments is expected to drive the needle coke market.
The needle coke market also faces certain challenges and limitations in the near future. The market is expected to register significant growth in petroleum-based products. However, the petroleum products face extreme political and economic instability. Recent collapse in Venezuela is expected to add to the woes of players in the needle coke market. Additionally, DCC capacities are also expected to witness several limitations in the near future. However, the needle coke market will still register a steady growth as several oil exploration initiatives are making way for less dependence on instable oil regions.
Needle coke is a high grade, high value, petroleum or coal-based coke. It is primarily employed in the manufacture of graphite electrodes of very low coefficient of thermal expansion for electric arc furnaces in the steel industry.
In terms of type, the petroleum derived segment accounted for more than 60% share of the market in 2017. The market share of the petroleum derived segment is expected to decline by the end of the forecast period due to the increase in production capacities of China-based needle coke manufacturers. Most manufacturers in China produce coal tar pitch based needle coke. In terms of grade, the super premium segment is anticipated to exhibit significant growth rate during the forecast period. The super premium grade has the lowest coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE), which makes it more suitable for the production of high grade graphite electrodes. In terms of application, the graphite electrode segment held major share of the market in 2017. This trend is likely to continue throughout the forecast period. However, lithium ion batteries application segment is projected to expand at a rapid CAGR between 2018 and 2026 owing to its high demand.
Asia Pacific held a significant share of the market in 2017 in terms of value and volume. China is highly lucrative country of the needle coke market in Asia Pacific. Asia Pacific is expected to continue its dominance throughout the forecast period. The market in Europe is likely to expand at a significant pace in the near future.
This report analyzes and Forecast the market for needle coke at the global and regional level. The market has been forecast based on revenue (US$ Mn) and volume (kilo tons) from 2017 to 2026, considering 2017 as the base year. The report also includes historical data from 2012 to 2016. The study includes drivers and restraints of the global needle coke market. It also covers impact of these drivers and restraints on demand for needle coke during the forecast period. The report also highlights opportunities in the needle coke market at the global and regional level. The report provides different types of needle coke manufactured by each company by grade. It also provides the list of potential customers for needle coke based on application.
The report includes detailed value chain analysis, which provides a comprehensive view of the global needle coke market. Porters Five Forces model for the needle coke market has also been included to help understand the competitive landscape. The study encompasses market attractiveness analysis, wherein type, grade, and application are benchmarked based on their market size, growth rate, and general attractiveness. The study also includes pricing analysis based on type, region, and key players.
The study provides a decisive view of the global needle coke market by segmenting it in terms of type, grade and application. In terms of product type, the needle coke market has been classified into petroleum derived and coal tar pitch derived. In terms of grade, the needle coke market has been segregated into intermediate, premium, and super premium. In terms of application, the needle coke market has been divided into graphite electrode, lithium ion batteries, and others. These segments have been analyzed based on present and future trends. Regional segmentation includes current and forecast demand for needle coke in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa.
The report provides the historical market size from 2012 to 2016 and actual market size of needle coke for 2017 and estimated market size for 2018 with forecast for the next eight years. The global needle coke market has been provided in terms of revenue in US$ Mn and in terms of volume in kilo tons. Market size has been provided in terms of global, regional, and country level market.
The report comprises profiles of major companies operating in the global needle coke market. Key players operating in the needle coke market include Phillips 66, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, JXTG Holdings, Inc., Baotailong New Material Co., Ltd., Indian Oil Corporation Ltd., Bao-steel Group, C-Chem CO., LTD., Seadrift Coke LP, Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Company Limited, Shanxi Hongte Coal Chemical Co Ltd., Sinosteel Anshan Research Institute of Thermo-Energy Co., Ltd., Petrochina International Jinzhou Petrochemical Co., Ltd., Shijiazhuang Deli Chemical Co., Petroleum Coke Industries Co. (K.S.C), Petrocokes Japan Ltd., and FangDa Carbon New Material Co. Ltd.
The newInternational Maritime Organization (IMO)2020 regulations are expected to have some tangible effect on the steel industry. Primarily, increasing freight rates for raw materials such as iron ore and coal as ship owners and operators pass on higher bunker costs. Yet the new regulations may have a further, more unexpected effect on the steel sector, and the nascent electric vehicle battery industry, Wood Mackenzie reports.
Indeed, low-sulphurcrude oil used to produce needle coke for both graphite electrodes for EAF steelmaking and battery anodes could, in theory, be in short supply. And while China is advancing needle coke capacity using coal tar pitch instead of oil, strict quality requirements mean this substitution could be some way off. With two growing industries steel and electric vehicles competing for the same raw materials, could we be heading for a further period of tightness for needle coke?
Needle coke is a relatively niche product. Its main use by far is in the production of graphite electrodes for the steel industry. These electrodes are used to melt steel scrap, or scrap substitutes, in the case of electric arc furnace (EAF) steelmaking, or to maintain the temperature of molten steel in secondary steelmaking. Needle coke is also employed in the production of synthetic graphite for other uses, including the anode material for lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles.
There are two main types of needle coke. Petroleum needle coke is produced at oil refineries by converting decant or slurry oil, along with high-quality vacuum residue, both by-products of the refining process. Coal-based needle coke (sometimes called pitch needle coke, or just pitch coke) is made from coal tar pitch, a by-product of coking metallurgical coal for blast-furnace steelmaking.
Both types of needle coke are distinguished from other varieties of coke by their highly ordered crystalline structure, and its resemblance to vertically aligned needles. They also differ by their quality, which is measured by a low coefficient of thermalexpansion andlow presence of impurities such assulphur, nitrogen and ash. It is for these unique characteristics that needle coke typically commands a significant premium over other calcined coke products, such as anode coke a type primarily used in thealuminiumindustry.
Being aspecialityproduct, and derived from a by-product, needle coke exhibits a concentrated supply structure. There are around 10 major producers globally, withthe majority ofoutput being petroleum-based. Most medium-sized refineries, for example, do not have delayedcokersinstalled, nor the complex coking set-up required to producespecialityproducts like needle coke.
Only seven producers of any size operate outside China, with Phillips 66 (USandUK) being the largest, followed by Seadrift in the US, and C-Chem,Petrocokes, JX Nippon and Mitsubishi in Japan. Indeed, ex-China capacity has remained broadly flat for the past 10 years given the high capital costs, technical expertise and stringent regulatory processes required to bring on greenfield needle coke projects. In contrast, China is not only a net importer of needle coke but also a large producer, primarily through its coal-based production, with Sinosteel the largest incumbent.
By far the biggest use of needle coke is graphiteelectrodes forsteelmaking. These electrodes are an indispensable, industrial consumable, used to conduct electricity during EAF steelmaking,and alsoto maintain the temperature of liquid steel in steelmaking.
First, a little historical perspective. For much of the past 10 years, interest in needle coke and graphite electrodes has been somewhat muted. This was partly a result of millions oftonnesof Chinese steel finding their way into overseas markets, depressing local prices, lowering operating rates for domestic mills, and ultimately, stymieing demand for consumables like graphite electrodes. Indeed, massive overcapacity and overproduction in the Chinese steel sector saw exports of steel products surge from 43 Mt in 2010, to a peak of 112 Mt in 2015.
Stubborn prices for steel scrap also lowered thecompetivenessof EAF-based mills relative to their blast furnace-based counterparts. EAF steel output in the world ex-China battered by excessive exports from China (more than 90% blast furnace based) declined by around 25 Mt between 2011 and 2015.
All this began to change around 2016 and 2017. Chinese government efforts torationaliseoutdated and polluting enterprises saw crude steelmaking capacity alone reduced by 128Mtpabetween 2015 and 2018 equivalent to the entire capacity of the US. A large chunk of the outdated steel capacity that closed took the form of inefficient induction furnaces (typically producing lower quality steel), with much of this lost production shifting to EAF-based mills. Meanwhile, the plants producing needle coke and graphite electrodes also felt the wrath of environmental inspectors, suffering closures as part of the policy to limit air pollution.
While supply-side reforms in China were taking effect, protectionist measures brought in against Chinese steel exports proved a boon to steelmakers in other parts of the world, leading to higher melt rates for EAF steel producers. With a tightening of both needle coke and graphite electrodes supply due to closures, and rising EAF steelmaking demand within China and the rest of the world, prices for needle coke and graphite electrodesboth skyrocketed.
While prices have since moderated a little, the trend towards higher EAF production, and therefore graphite electrodes demand, remains on course. This year alone, China plans to commission 15 new EAF units, adding around 6Mtpaof steel capacity in the year. Meanwhile, seven EAFs with a total annual capacity of 5.5Mtpaare ramping up. Demand for graphite electrodes and their needle coke feedstock looks set to rise strongly in the coming years.
From 1 January 2020, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) will require ships to reduce their emissions to be equivalent to using marine fuels with a maximumsulphurcontent of 0.5%, reduced from 3.5% currently. The new measures willdemand asizeable response from the maritime industry to comply. Is the shipping industry ready? Probably not. And with limited time to prepare, and somescepticismon enforcement, many may be impacted. Our analysis suggests that the industry will deal with this short-term adaptation through fuel switching (heavy fuel oils, to low-sulphurvarieties such as VLSFO and MGO), retro-fitting of vessels to burn low-sulphuror no-sulphurfuels (such as LNG), and by the installation of commercial scrubbers on vessels.
Retro-fitting of vessels will no doubt lead to an increase in costs for ship owners and operators something likelyto manifest itself in higher freight rates, particularly as ships use more marine gas oil. Meanwhile, the option of switching fuels is unlikely to be completely straightforward. Weunderstand refinerieshave been reluctant to commit the capex for the major upgrades needed to increase production of low-sulphurmarine fuel oils. As such, we would expect a tighter market for low-sulphurfuels as ship operators strive to comply.
How does all this affect needle coke? Certainlytighter supplyand higher prices seem likely. The reality is that under the new IMO regulations, prices for the low-sulphurcrude oil types required to produce needle coke are expected to rise as more of these are diverted towards marine fuels. Needle coke producers would need to contend with either increased competition for feedstock or invest in equipment to allow use of highersulphuroils. Either way, IMO 2020 is likely to bring higher costs for the main consumer of needle coke the steel industry.
Graphite is the key material used in the manufacture of anodes (negative electrodes) for lithium-ion batteries. While cathode materials such as lithium cobalt and nickel have received most of the press, graphite is the largest input material by volume into lithium-ion batteries. For example, the Tesla Model S contains up to 85 kg of graphite.
Two types of graphite are used in anode production: synthetic (derived from needle coke) and natural graphite. Despite increasing interest in new projects to mine natural graphite, and its lower cost, battery manufacturers have traditionally preferred synthetic graphite due to its higher purity and consistency. In practice, most use a blend of synthetic with natural to balance performance with cost.
While EV sales are still low, we expect the ongoing electrification of transportation to significantly lift demand for synthetic graphite and needle coke in the coming years. Our EV outlook sees electric passenger cars (with a plug) accounting for 6% of sales by 2025. While a relatively small penetration rate for EVs, even 6% of sales would increase needle coke demand by 250ktfrom current levels.
With demand from steelmaking and lithium-ion batteries expected to see strong growth in the medium term and question marks over the stability of supply due to the new IMO 2020 restrictions fundamentals in the needle coke market have the potential to tighten into next year. Moreover,in spite ofthe higher prices observed in recent years, no greenfield or large-scale brownfield needle coke projects are currently planned. Perhaps testament to the high capital intensity and technical challenges involved.
Yet in China, where supply has come under the microscope of the state authorities in the not too distant past, a new raft of needle coke projectsareunder development. On one side, highpricesfor needle coke and the desire to vertically integrate have spurred a number of steel companies and graphite electrode producers to get into the needle coke game. Additionally,a number ofmid-sized refineries in Shandong province have been conducting R&D into needle coke production.
We remain somewhatscepticalon this new wave of needle coke supply. Many projects are likely to be delayed, if not cancelled. The few petroleum-based projects, in particular, couldsuffer from the lack of technical expertise required. Furthermore, sourcing of suitable feed material may prove challenging given tightness in low-sulphurcrudes.
While the majority of new Chinese needle coke supply to come to market in the coming years will be coal-based, challenges exist here too. Firstly, environmental controls over metallurgical coke production will continue to limit the supply of coal tar pitch to this new batch of needle coke producers particularly during the winter heating season when industrial activity is cut for the sake of air quality.
Additionally, there are question marks over the quality of needle coke that might be produced. While all facilities claim to be producing needle coke, our research suggests that many Chinese plants are producing a lower quality product than the rest of the world. This is the key impediment to China being able to produce large volumes of ultra-high power (UHP) graphite electrodes for steelmills, andexplains the countrys continued import dependence on needle coke. Given battery manufacturers alsohave a preference forpetroleum needle coke because of quality reasons, the new capacity additions in China may fall short of demand. A perfect storm for needle coke may well be brewing.
Petroleum cokes fall along the final segment of the coalification diagram, suggesting that the later stages of coal maturation have much in common with coking and other forms of pyrolysis applied to highly aromatic organic feedstocks.
Petroleum coke is a by-product of the coker process in the oil industry. In its raw form, it is also called green coke or green petroleum coke. Calcined petroleum coke is an important industrial commodity that links the oil and the metallurgical industries as it provides a source of carbon for various metallurgical applications including the manufacture of anodes for the aluminum pot liners and for graphite electrodes. Most of the calcining of petroleum coke is carried out in rotary kilns. In this chapter, we provide some of the characteristics of petroleum coke calcination process in the rotary kiln and use this as a design case study for sizing a rotary kiln for the said application.
Petroleum coke can be fired in combination with coals or heavy oils in circulating fluidized bed boilers; alternatively, it can be fired as the sole fuel. Some examples of petroleum coke firing in fluidized bed boilers are shown in Table 5.16. Other examples of CFB boilers firing petroleum coke alone or in combination with other fuels include installations at the Nova Scotia Power Pt. Aconi Generating Station; Gulf Oil (now Chevron) in California; Oriental Chemical Industries in Korea; General Motors in Michigan; the Petrox refinery in Chile; a paper mill in Kattua, Finland; and numerous other sites. Most of these units fire a blend of petroleum coke and coal, with petroleum coke being the dominant fossil fuel.
The principle benefits associated with combusting petroleum coke in fluidized bed boilers include high boiler efficiencies and availabilities and control of airborne emissions. The principle issues associated with fluidized bed combustion of petroleum coke involve ash chemistrymanagement of limestone addition for optimized sulfur capture with minimum limestone costand management of vanadiumlimestone interactions that cause agglomeration and fouling of heat transfer surfaces [49, 50].
Petroleum coke has also been fired in the Polk County, Florida, Clean Coal Technology Demonstrationin a 250-MWe (net) integrated gasification-combined cycle (IGCC). Typical blends are about 55% petroleum coke/45% coal. This installation employs a Texaco oxygen-blown gasifier to generate a synthesis gas that is then burned in a combustion turbine. The project has been quite successful in demonstrating the flexibility of petroleum coke in power generation. However, the Polk County project only highlights other applications for petroleum coke in the energy arena. The Polk County project is one of several gasification projects worldwide that employ petroleum coke as a part of the total feedstock. Similarly, petroleum coke has been fired successfully at the Wabash River Clean Coal IGCC project.
Petroleum coke has been studied extensively, and periodically employed, as an additive for the manufacture of metallurgical coke for the steel industry [51, 52]. This practice, ongoing for several decades, typically mixes 5% to 40% (weight basis) petroleum coke with coal in the coking ovens. The addition of petroleum coke reduces the reactivity of the metallurgical coke to CO2 and improves its mechanical strengthmaking these cokes superior in performance to cokes made with coal alone . Modest amounts of petroleum coke (e.g., ~3%) are sufficient to produce the desired improvements .
Petroleum coke has also been proposed in petroleum coke-water slurries [34, 53, 54] and petroleum coke-oil slurries . Both of these slurries are considered to be replacements for heavy oil fired in existing boilers and furnaces. The coke-water slurries are more appropriate for cofiring than for single-fuel firing due to the lack of volatile matter in the fuel. The coke-oil slurries are proposed as a means for extending oil supplies and firing a high calorific value in boilers. The low ash content of the petroleum coke makes this option attractive, and the oil in the slurry provides sufficient volatile matter to support ignition and combustion.
Petroleum coke, then, is a highly flexible and useful blending fuel that can be used not only in conventional cyclone, PC, and fluidized bed boilers, but also in gasification systems, as a feedstock for metallurgical coke for the steel industry, and as a base fuel in coke-water slurries or coke-oil slurries. With increased production of this refinery by-product resulting from increased demand for gasoline, increased availability and use will follow.
Petroleum coke (petcoke) is regularly produced as a by-product of crude oil refining, especially from heavy crudes commonly produced in Canada. While some forms of petcoke are useful for steel making or other speciality purposes, it is often stockpiled in large quantities as a waste product. Although the stockpiled petcoke can be combusted for heat or electricity generation, it is more carbon intensive than coal, and this along with other environmental concerns makes combustion undesirable or even prohibited by government regulation. Hence, instead of the traditional stockpiling practice, petcoke can also be converted to liquid fuels both as a means of disposal and to help meet increasing fuels demand. Recent studies have shown the technical and economic feasibility and the high fuel, energy, and carbon efficiencies of converting petcoke to chemicals and fuels (Salkuyeh et al. 2015, Okeke et al. 2018). Although several studies have presented the life cycle assessment (LCA) of other synthetic fuels processes such as gas-to-liquids (Forman et al. 2011), coal-to-liquids (Jaramillo et al. 2009), and biomass-to-liquids (Xie et al. 2011) processes, to the knowledge of the authors, no work has reported the LCA study of petcoke conversion to liquid fuels. Therefore, this study presents the first-of-a-kind detailed cradle-to-grave LCA of petcoke gasification to FTD so as to ascertain the environmental feasibility of this petcoke disposal approach.
Petroleum coke has been used as a substitute for portions of the coal feed; although the use varies with the price of the coke. Petroleum coke has high concentrations of Ni and V, with up to 9463ppm Ni and 1425ppmV in the fourth-row ESP fly ash, and 26,440ppm Ni and 3340V in the 100200-mesh portion of the latter ash, at a western Kentucky power plant (Hower, Thomas, Mardon, & Trimble, 2005). In addition, the fly ash has large amounts of petroleum coke, up to 55% in the first-row ESP fly ash, pointing towards inherent inefficiencies in attempting to burn a coke in a boiler designed for high-volatile C bituminous coal.
The Bailly Generating Station is located in Chesterton, Indiana. The facility has two cyclone boilers that normally fire a blend of 70% Illinois Basin high-sulfur coal with 30% low-sulfur Shoshone coal. Boiler #7 is a 160-MWe cyclone unit that generates about 1.2 106 lb/hr of 2400 psig/1000F/1000F steam. The objective of the program was to reduce all fossil emissions without negatively impacting unit performance .
The program cofired petroleum coke with coal, biomass with coal, and then a blend of petroleum coke, urban wood waste, and coal. The blends that were studied during the testing period included the following:
The cofiring facility included a fuel receiving area with a pole barn and trommel screen to ensure that the urban wood waste was sized to <3/4 in. Once the wood waste was screened, it was then blended with petroleum coke for storage and transport. The facility also included an aboveground reclaim system for the opportunity fuel and a conveyor linking the reclaim system to the main coal belt. A Stamler aboveground reclaim system that is typically designed for coal mines was chosen. The machine has a stub conveyor that elevates the fuel and discharges it onto a belt conveyor that links the opportunity fuel reclaim to the main belt conveyor.
The system design was labor intensive, with the recognition that it was constructed for a demonstration test. Manual or bucket blending of the fuel at the pole barn and manual feeding of the Stamler reclaimer were utilized. The two facilities were about 2000 feet apart due to site conditions and constraints. Therefore, conveying of the material between the two locations required trucks; this was due to cost considerations .
Foster Wheeler constructed the facility during the fourth quarter of 1998 and the first quarter of 1999. Construction was completed in February 1999. Figures 4.32 and 4.33 show the blending facility at the Bailly Generating Station.
Results from the testing indicated that wood waste, petroleum coke, and the blended opportunity fuel did not reduce unit capacity. The triburn opportunity fuel increased boiler efficiency by approximately 0.5% and did not require additional excess O2 for combustion; air heater exit temperature was not impacted. The combination of petroleum coke and wood waste helped to offset the carbon in flyash; petroleum coke increased unburned carbon in the flyash, while the wood waste decreased unburned carbon in the flyash. Slag formation and characteristics were not impacted by the wood waste, petroleum coke, or triburn opportunity fuel .
Figure 4.34 presents the trend lines for NOx emissions at full load operating conditions, measured in lb/106 Btu. Based on the data, a dominant mechanism was presented. Wood waste introduces significant concentrations of volatiles, causing the fuel to complete combustion in the cyclone barrel, thus reducing combustion occurring in the primary furnace. For the petroleum coke, the fuel burns in the slag layer in a heterogeneous gassolids reaction. Unless there is a significant amount of fines, the presence of petroleum coke reduces the amount of combustion occurring in the primary furnace. Consequently, the mechanism reduced the temperature in the primary furnace, thus reducing NOx formation .
Figure 4.35 presents the impact of cofiring biofuel, petroleum coke, and trifiring petroleum coke and biofuel with coal on CO, THC, and SO3 emissions. Peculiarly, SO3 increases when wood waste is burned, decreases slightly with petroleum coke, and increases with trifiring. Since unburned carbon absorbs SO3, the unburned carbon concentration affects the results. When cofiring biomass, unburned carbon decreases significantly. Conversely, the concentration of unburned carbon increases when petroleum coke is cofired. When triburning, there is more sulfur in the system, so more SO3 is formed, since unburned carbon decreases and thus reduces the amount of SO3 absorbed into the flyash .
The Bailly Generating Station program met its objectives. It demonstrated a cost-effective method for burning biomass, reducing fossil CO2 emissions. There was improved boiler efficiency, reduced NOx emissions, reduced CO2 emissions, and reduced metal emissions. These results were achieved while minimizing the effects on opacity, CO, THC, and SO3 emissions. In addition, the triburn opportunity fuel combined the advantages of biomass with petroleum coke, while minimizing the disadvantages that are typically inherent to each of the individual opportunity fuels.
Petroleum coke is a byproduct of petroleum refining, useful in the production of electrodes used as carbon anodes for the aluminum industry, graphite electrodes for steel making, as fuel in the firing of solid fuel boilers used to generate electricity, and as a fuel for cement kilns . Fuel-grade coke is coke that is high in sulfur content and its metals content is higher than what is acceptable to make carbon anodes, hence fuel-grade coke is less expensive than coke used for carbon anodes or graphite electrodes. Fuel-grade coke is high in heat content, typically >14,000Btu/lb, and low in ash content, typically <1% by weight ash, as compared to coals . The high sulfur concentrations and, for many petroleum cokes, high vanadium and nickel concentrations are the less desirable characteristics of this boiler fuel. Examples of typical analyses of different fuel-grade petroleum cokes are provided in Table 1.12 [modified from 32].
Petroleum coke samples are original one and those heat-treated at 1860, 2100, 2300, 2600, and 2800C (abbreviated to PC, PC1860, PC2100, PC2300, PC2600, and PC2800). First coulombic efficiency of petroleum coke varies depending on the heat-treatment temperatures as given in Table 9.9 [45,46,50]. PC1860 and PC2100 give high first coulombic efficiencies, 8890%. However, they decrease with increasing heat-treatment temperature. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) reveals that edge plane of heat-treated petroleum cokes is closed by carboncarbon bond formation, which would make difficult the SEI formation and the insertion of Li+ ion into petroleum cokes. The closed edge planes may be formed by the elimination of surface oxygen and subsequent carboncarbon bond formation during the heat-treatment at high temperatures. Surface fluorination was performed by F2, ClF3, and NF3 of 3104Pa for 2min and plasma fluorination with CF4. Figure 9.6 shows TEM images of surface-fluorinated PC2800 samples . Top of closed edge plane is destroyed by fluorination. Tables 9.10 and 9.11 show surface concentrations of F, Cl and N . Surface fluorine concentrations are similar in the samples fluorinated by F2 and plasma fluorination using CF4. However, almost no fluorine is detected in those fluorinated by ClF3 and NF3, but trace amounts of Cl and N are detected. Fluorination with F2 is an electrophilic reaction and those with ClF3, NF3 and plasma fluorination are radical reactions. Since plasma fluorination was made at low temperature of 90C, surface fluorine concentrations are higher than in other two cases using ClF3 and NF3. These results are consistent with Table 9.5. Corresponding to this difference, surface disorder is increased by the fluorination using F2 and plasma fluorination, however, decreased by the fluorination with ClF3 and NF3 (Table 9.12) [45,4850]. Main effect by the fluorination with F2 and plasma fluorination is increase of first coulombic efficiencies of graphitized petroleum cokes, PC2300, PC2600, and PC2800 by the opening of closed edge plane and subsequent increase in surface disorder facilitating SEI formation. Figure 9.7 shows charge/discharge potential curves of original and surface-fluorinated PC2800 at first cycle [45,50]. The potential plateau indicating the decomposition of organic solvents is largely reduced, i.e., SEI formation is facilitated by surface fluorination. Table 9.13 gives first coulombic efficiencies obtained at 60 and 150mAg1 in 1molL1 LiClO4-EC/DEC (1:1 vol.) [44,46,49,50]. Large increase in first coulombic efficiencies is observed in the graphitized samples (PC2300, PC2600, and PC2800) fluorinated by F2 at 300C and plasma treatment. In the case of fluorination by ClF3 and NF3, strong surface etching of petroleum cokes takes place. The main effect is different, i.e., increase in charge capacities [47,48,50].
Figure 9.6. TEM images of surface-fluorinated PC2800. (a): fluorinated by F2 at 400C for 2min, (b): fluorinated by F2 at 400C for 2min, (c): plasma-fluorinated for 15minat 90C, (d): plasma-fluorinated for 60minat 90C, (e): fluorinated by NF3 at 400C for 2min.
Petroleum coke (also known as pet coke) is a carbonaceous solid derived from the cracking processes of oil refineries and has been a source of relatively cheap pulverized fuel for the kiln industry. It is called green coke until it is thermally treated into crystalline or calcined pet coke used in the manufacture of electrodes for steel and aluminum extraction. Green coke comes from several sources, all from the petroleum refinery industry. Table6.2 gives some green coke analyzed by Polak (1991) showing their sources and their elemental analyses.
As seen in the table, some pet cokes are good for their low ash content and high carbon content, however their high sulfur content can present environmental problems by emitting SO2, a major source of acid rain, into the atmosphere unless measures are taken to scrub the exhaust gas, which can be very expensive. Hence they are used in the kiln industry by blending it with cheaper, low energy content, and high volatile coal to balance emissions and take advantage of their high heating value. Other sources of pulverized fuel include wood and scrap tires, the latter having been used extensively in modern cement kilns.
Delayed petcoke is crushed and mixed to form slurry which is fed to the petcoke gasifier modeled as the Wabash E-Gas (Amick 2000). The gasifier was designed to operate at 1426 C and 56 bar in the presence of oxygen to produce syngas which typically contains carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen with impurities such as carbonyl sulfide and ammonia. Oxygen required for the gasification process and for the entire system is provided via the ASU while the waste nitrogen is used as a diluent in the gas turbine to control its temperature.
The produced syngas is quenched to adiabatic saturation temperature of about 200 C which enables the removal of entrained slag. Ammonia impurities are also removed using its very high solubility in water compared to other components in the syngas.
WGS is employed in order to convert carbonaceous energy in the syngas (CO) into carbonless energy (H2). Both the high and low temperature WGS reactors were employed in order to overcome the equilibrium limitations of the high temperature process (Ratnasamy and Wagner 2009). The WGS reactions occurs in the presence of copper promoted iron-based and copper-zinc aluminum catalysts for the high and low temperature processes respectively (Twigg 1989). The WGS reaction was modeled using equilibrium reactors which proceeds following Eq. (1):
To ensure that the catalyst life and activity are maintained during the WGS reaction due to the presence of sulfur, the steam to carbon monoxide ratio is kept at 2:1 (Hendriks 2012). In addition to the carbon monoxide conversion, COS hydrolysis reaction is designed to convert 99% of COS in the presence activated alumina catalyst following Eq. (2):
High pressure acid gas removal using dimethyl ether polyethylene glycol (DEPG) was employed to remove H2S and capture CO2. These removals were achieved using the two-stage Selexol configuration which selectively absorbs H2S and CO2 in the H2S and CO2 absorbers respectively. First, syngas enters the H2S absorber where H2S is selectively removed, sent through the H2S concentrator to remove CO2 (enrich the H2S stream) and is sent to the stripper. The enriched H2S stream outlet of the stripper is subsequently sent to the Claus unit for sulfur production while the recovered lean solvent is sent to the CO2 absorber. The lean solvent together with the semi-lean solvent are designed to capture 90% of the inlet CO2. Pressure drops across a series of flash drums are used to regenerate the CO2 rich Selexol which is sent back to the CO2 absorber while the CO2 rich stream is sent for compression. This work employed the two-stage Selexol Aspen Plus flowsheet of (Field and Brasington 2011).
The Claus process is employed to convert the H2S from the acid gas removal section to sulfur. Since the H2S recovered was at purities higher than 40 mol%, the split flow sulfur recovery process was employed (Jacobs). The process is primarily a partial oxidation of H2S to yield SO2 which further reacts to produce elemental sulfur as shown in Eq. (3) and (4)
Being a high temperature process, the waste heat boiler is used to produce steam used to satisfy the process demands. 96% of process sulfur was recovered. For the life cycle assessment study, sulfur was taken as a co-product but no environmental credit for displacing petroleum-based sulfur was considered.
The clean syngas from the CO2 capture unit is combusted in the presence of excess air (more than the stoichiometric ratio) that ensures complete combustion of the fuels at high temperature and pressure in an F-Class gas turbine to produce electricity. Air and waste N2 from the ASU were used as a diluent in the combustion chamber of the turbine. The waste heat from the exhaust of the turbine is recovered via the HRSG which is used to generate high pressure steam to produce extra electricity in a steam cycle. The flue gas is vented through the stack to the atmosphere which accounts for the direct process emissions.
The overall process utility requirement is evaluated by carrying out a heat exchanger network design using Aspen Energy Analyzer to determine the minimum energy requirements and heat exchanger network costs. The net energy requirements are the system wide cooling and chilled water which were provided via the cooling tower and natural gas fired ammonia chiller respectively.
Backfill should be coal coke breeze of low resistivity and low ash content. The coke breeze may be treated by the addition of 10% (by weight) of commercial grade slaked lime. The proposed material should have the properties given in Table 4.6.
Backfill should be petroleum coke calcined (heat treated) to remove all other petroleum products, other than carbon, and should be supplied in granular form. Lime in a proportion of 10% by weight of coke breeze should be added to the product.
Backfill should be petroleum coke calcined (heat treated) to remove all other petroleum products, other than carbon, specially formulated to facilitate pumping, settling, and compaction of carbon lubricants. The product should contain 0.1% wetting agent to enhance the setting of the granular particles and water absorption of the backfill. Itshould have a round, uncrushable shape. The proposed material should have the properties as given in Table 4.8.
Petroleum needle coke modified by lithium additives is studied with a view to producing high-strength carbon materials. Modification by calcining with lithium carbonate changes the structure and properties of petroleum coke. Since the atomic radius of lithium is less than the distance between the layers of acicular phase in the petroleum coke, the added lithium is able to penetrate into the structure and form intercalated layers of composition Li x C y . Temperatures ensuring complete dissociation of the carbonate, reduction of the oxides, and intercalation of lithium during various stages in the calcining of petroleum coke are selected. The properties of pressed carbon materials derived from petroleum coke are assessed. Tests show that properties of the modified materials such as the strength and electrical conductivity are 1015% greater than for standard samples.
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Petroleum Coke, abbreviated Coke or Petcoke, is a final carbon-rich solid material that derives from oil refining, and is one type of the group of fuels referred to as cokes. Petcoke is the coke that, in particular, derives from a final cracking processa thermo-based chemical engineering process that splits long chain hydrocarbons of petroleum into shorter chainsthat takes place in units termed coker units. (Other types of coke are derived from coal).
Stated succinctly, coke is the carbonization product of high-boiling hydrocarbon fractions obtained in petroleum processing (heavy residues). Petcoke is also produced in the production of synthetic crude oil, or Syncrude from bitumen extracted from oil sands.
In petroleum coker units, residual oils from other distillation processes used in petroleum refining are treated at a high temperature and pressure leaving the petcoke after driving off gases and volatiles, and separating off remaining light and heavy oils. These processes are termed coking processes, and most typically employ chemical engineering plant operations for the specific process of delayed coking.
This coke can either be fuel grade (High in sulfur and metals) or anode grade (Low in sulfur and metals). The raw coke directly out of the coker is often referred to as Green Coke. In this context, Green means unprocessed. The further processing of green coke by calcining in a rotary kiln removes residual volatile hydrocarbons from the coke. The calcined petroleum coke can be further processed in an anode baking oven in order to produce anode coke of the desired shape and physical properties. The anodes are mainly used in the aluminum and steel industry.
Petcoke is over 90 percent carbon and emits 5 to 10 percent more carbon dioxide (CO2) than coal on a per-unit-of-energy basis when it is burned. As petcoke has a higher energy content, petcoke emits between 30 and 80 percent more CO2 than coal per unit of weight. The difference between coal and coke in CO2 production per unit of energy produced depends upon the moisture in the coal, which increases the CO2 per unit of energy heat combustion) and on the volatile hydrocarbons in coal and coke, which decrease the CO2 per unit of energy.
There are at least four basic types of petroleum coke, namely, Needle Coke, Honeycomb Coke, Sponge Coke and Shot Coke. Different types of petroleum coke have different micro structures due to differences in operating variables and nature of feedstock. Significant differences are also to be observed in the properties of the different types of coke, particularly ash and volatile matter contents.
Needle coke, also called acicular coke, is a highly crystalline petroleum coke used in the production of electrodes for the steel and aluminum industries and is particularly valuable because the electrodes must be replaced regularly. Needle coke is produced exclusively from either FCC decant oil or coal tar pitch.
Honeycomb coke is an intermediate coke, with ellipsoidal pores that are uniformly distributed. Compared to needle coke, honeycomb coke has a lower coefficient of thermal expansion and a lower electrical conductivity.