Petroleum coke or petcoke, a solid rock material is a byproduct of crude oil refining and other cracking processes. Although a refining byproduct, petroleum coke is considered as a valued commodity since 2008, all over the world. Crude oil remained after separating other valuable petroleum products from refining process such as diesel, lubricants, waxes, etc. can be processed further in cokers or other cracking processes to produce petroleum coke. Different grades of petroleum coke are produced by varying the coking operation temperature, coking time length, and quality of raw material used. The grades available are needle coke, purge coke, sponge coke, shot coke, and catalyst coke. The different grades differ in their physical properties and VOC (Volatile Organic Content).
It is generally used as a source of energy in various industries due to its high calorific value, as compared to metallurgical coal and bituminous coal. About 80% of the petroleum coke produced is used as energy source in various industries. Cement kiln and power plants are the chief end users. Another prominent use of petroleum coke is in manufacturing of metal, where it is used to manufacture anodes for EAFs (Electric Arc Furnaces). The niche applications of petroleum coke includes production of titanium dioxide for paint and coloring industry, feedstock for coke oven batteries, to produce urea and ammonium nitrate for paper industry and fertilizer, etc. High sulphur, low grade petroleum coke (fuel grade) is generally used as a source of energy, while low sulphur, high grade petroleum coke is used for other uses by the manufacturers. Petroleum coke is a cost effective alternative to coal with higher calorific value, lower ash content.
The production of the petroleum coke is linked with the production of oil, as it is a byproduct of oil refineries. The market is highly price sensitive and the global consumption of petroleum coke is highly dependent on competitive prices in fuel market. The global petroleum coke market is driven by increasing global energy demand. Petroleum coke being used as energy sources by power plants is highly influenced by increasing global energy demand. Growth of cement & construction industry is another driving factor for petroleum coke market growth.
The advancement in technology that increased the oil production is also driving the market globally. EPA (environmental protection agency) has not classified petroleum coke as a hazardous material, eventhough it is found to be having adverse effects on aquatic and terrestrial environments due to higher level of sulphur content. Although there are no specific regulations for petroleum coke industries, the environmental regulations are the key restraints for the market. Furthermore the market is influenced by highly volatile fuel prices and is a key challenge for the market.
The global petroleum coke market is segmented on the basis of product type and end uses. On the basis of product type, the global petroleum coke market is classified as needle coke, sponge coke, catalyst coke, shot coke, and purge coke. On the basis of end use, the global petroleum coke market is segmented as power plants, cement industry, steel industry, Aluminum industry, others. The other end uses of petroleum coke includes bricks and glass, paints and coloring industries, etc. More than 80% of petroleum coke produced is used as a source of energy by the end users.
Geographically, the Global petroleum coke market can be divided by major regions which include North America, Latin America, Western and Eastern Europe, Asia-Pacific region, Japan, Middle East and Africa. U.S. is a key exporter of petroleum coke. It exports more than 80% of the petroleum coke produced in the region. China, India, Japan, Mexico, and Turkey are the key export market for U.S. Apart from U.S., Canada, Spain, Germany, China are the major exporting countries.
About 140 refineries produce petroleum coke all over the world. Some of the major petroleum coke manufacturing companies are ExxonMobil, Chevron, Valero, British Petroleum, Marathon Petroleum Corporation, etc.
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