"The History and Future Challenges of Calcined Petroleum Coke Production and Use in Aluminum Smelting"

A review paper by Les Edwards, Rain CII Chief Technology Officer

Summary:

Calcined petroleum coke is used for the production of carbon anodes in the Hall-Héroult aluminum smelting process due to a combination of low impurity levels, ready availability, and relatively low cost. This article provides a review of the history and use of calcined petroleum coke for anode production and describes the different calcining technologies used by the industry. The article discusses the impact of changes in crude oil quality and refining economics over the last 10 years as well as the impact on green petroleum coke quality and availability. The industry has adapted well to quality changes in recent times, and the blending of different quality cokes by smelters is becoming increasingly important. The world has a plentiful supply of green petroleum coke, but the next wave of aluminum smelting capacity growth will put further pressure on the supply of the higher quality cokes traditionally favored by the industry.

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The History and Future Challenges of Pet Coke Production