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Petroleum Coke (Pet Coke)

Context:

Recently, the Union government of India permitted the import of pet coke for making graphite anode material for lithium-ion batteries.

Relevance:

GS I: Geography

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Petroleum Coke
  2. Applications

About Petroleum Coke:

  • Petroleum coke, commonly known as petcoke, is a carbon-rich solid material and residual waste extracted from oil refining processes.
  • It is a byproduct formed during the distillation of oil or the extraction of bitumen from tar sands. Petcoke has similar fuel properties to coal and can be burned as a fuel source.
Key Points:
  • Petcoke is a solid residue that remains after oil refining or bitumen extraction.
  • It is spongy in texture and can be used as a fuel similar to coal.
  • Bitumen, found in tar sands, contains a higher number of carbon atoms, and the extraction of these atoms forms petcoke.
  • Petcoke has a high calorific value and is relatively easy to transport and store.
  • When burned, it releases toxic gases such as carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, mercury, arsenic, chromium, nickel, and hydrogen chloride.
Grades
  • Calcinable or Green Petcoke: This grade can undergo further processing, known as calcination, to remove impurities and enhance its properties for specific applications.
  • Fuel Grade Petcoke: This grade is primarily used as a fuel source in various industries.

Applications

  • Power stations: Petcoke is used as a fuel source in power plants to generate electricity.
  • Cement industry: It is used as a fuel and as a source of carbon in the production of cement.
  • Steel industry: Petcoke is used as a fuel and as a reducing agent in the production of steel.
  • Textile plants: It can be used as a fuel in textile manufacturing processes.

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