what is pet coke used for

what is pet coke used for

Introduction to Petroleum Coke

What’s Petroleum Coke?

Usually, individuals consider oil refineries as producing gasoline and diesel gasoline, however refineries produce far more than simply these two fuels. One necessary product produced by refineries is one thing referred to as petroleum coke, or “petcoke.” Petcoke is used as a gasoline and as a supply of carbon for industrial processes.

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How is Petcoke Produced?

Petcoke is produced after crude oil undergoes two processes. First, the oil is distilled into numerous merchandise, separating out the sunshine components of the oil—the gasoline vapors, liquid petroleum gasoline (LPG), naphtha, and kerosene from the heavier components of the oil. The heavier portion of the oil in then processed by means of a “coker” which topics the remaining oil to excessive warmth and stress to actual as a lot of the lighter gasoline-like components of the oil as potential. What stays after the coker after the excessive warmth and stress is a substance referred to as petroleum coke.

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What Are Petcoke’s Makes use of?

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Petroleum coke is excessive in carbon—this makes it chemically much like coal and each power dense and helpful for a lot of different industrial processes that require carbon.

About 80 p.c of petcoke is used as gasoline. Whereas petcoke is much like coal, petcoke generates simply 0.2 p.c of America’s electrical energy, whereas coal generates practically 40 p.c. As an alternative, petcoke is often used as a gasoline to make cement, lime, brick, glass, metal, and fertilizer in addition to many different industrial functions.

A lot of the remainder of the petcoke is “calcined petroleum coke.” Calcined petcoke is petcoke that’s once more heated to take away moisture, risky matter, and impurities and to extend {the electrical} conductivity. Calcinced petcoke is used to make metal, graphite and titanium.

Calcined petcoke is important to the creation of aluminum. Due to its excessive carbon purity and an absence of contaminants, calcined petcoke gives the one economically viable methodology to provide major aluminum. Calcined petcoke additionally produces titanium dioxide, a safer different to the lead utilized in paint.

Why is Petcoke Vital?

Demand for U.S. petcoke is rising, with China, Mexico, Japan, Canada, India and Turkey as the most important importers. China, as an example, imported 3.2 million barrels of petroleum coke from the U.S. on this previous April alone, their third largest month-to-month quantity of all time.

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America turned a web exporter of petroleum merchandise in 2011 and the exports of petroleum coke is likely one of the causes. As the subsequent chart reveals, the U.S. exported 184,167,000 barrels of petcoke in 2012, an almost 30 p.c improve since 2009.

Coal is likely one of the most inexpensive and ample sources of power for electrical energy technology. However worldwide coal costs are sometimes larger than U.S. petcoke costs, making U.S. petcoke a horny possibility for a lot of nations to make use of as a gasoline.

Rising demand in creating nations, coupled with inexpensive costs, has enabled U.S. petcoke to emerge as a useful export for the U.S. and a cheap analogue for coal for a lot of the remainder of the world.


Whether or not or not petcoke will proceed its rise in international power markets stays to be seen. However barring any vital adjustments in federal regulatory practices, America can solely stand to realize from petcoke’s continued manufacturing and exportation. As a result of petroleum coke is a product of petroleum and is chemically much like coke, some particular curiosity teams try to demonize petroleum coke on environmental grounds. In future posts, we’ll discover the environmental issues surrounding petroleum coke.

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