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Needle Coke Market By Grade (Base Premium, Intermediate Premium, Super Premium), By Type (Petroleum Derived, Coal Tar Pitch Derived), By End-User (Steel Industry, Aluminum Industry, Nuclear Power) - Growth, Future Prospects & Competitive Analysis, 2017 – 2025

The premium type of petroleum coke and coal tar-based coke is needle coke. Coke is a byproduct of oil refining and the coal gasification process and is used as a fuel to manufacture iron, steel, and anodes for aluminum smelters. Higher-quality ultra-high power (UHP) graphite electrodes and cathode electrodes to melt the scrap metal for recycling steel in the electric arc furnace (EAF) are manufactured from needle coke. For the production of needle coke, the separation of the heavy fraction of aromatic feedstock is required to be done in a fractionation unit. The thick fraction is then fed to a coking unit to attain coking temperatures (3000 C). The furnace operation is critical since it has to "delay" the feed to attain the desired temperature. This reduces coke formation in the furnace. Thus, the effective extraction of needle coke is done in this step, which is similar to delayed coking.

Based on the type of needle coke, the market is segmented into oil and gas and coal-tar pitch-derived products. Needle coke is the primary heating element in an electric arc furnace (EAF) for steel production. Scrap from old cars or appliances is melted to form steel. The EAF steel furnace requires high-quality coke for graphite electrode manufacturing. The demand from the steel industry for specialty cokes is increasing for UHP (ultra-high power) EAF to produce steel. The developed economies have a huge demand for steel and aluminum due to their high consumption in automobiles, heavy equipment and machinery, and aircraft, among other things. Graphitized cathodes are used in aluminum production, and graphite electrodes are used in steel production. Thus, the graphitization of electrodes in metal production has led to a high demand for needle coke globally.

In terms of grade, the needle coke is bifurcated into a base premium, intermediate premium, and super premium needle coke. The base premium needle coke has the highest coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE), which is less than 0.65 (10-6 oC). The sulfur content is less than 0.6%, and the hydrogen content is in the range of 0.035–0.055%. The intermediate premium coke has a CTE of less than 0.5 (10–6 oC). The xylene content is 2.12 g/cm3, and the hydrogen content is similar to that of the base premium type. The super-premium needle coke has a sulfur content of less than 0.4%. The maximum coefficient of thermal expansion is 0.4 (10-6 C). The world's biggest manufacturers of needle cocaine also have super-premium cocaine with CTE as low as 0.1 (10-6 oC) max. On the basis of end-user, the market is segmented into the steel industry, the aluminum industry, nuclear power plants, and others (lithium batteries, aerospace, etc.).

The U.S., China, and Japan are the world's top manufacturers of needle cocaine. India, Russia, Germany, and the U.K. are the other major countries where needle coke and graphite electrode manufacturing is based. The world's largest manufacturer of needle cocaine is Conoco Phillips (Phillips 66). There are only two companies in the world that derive needle coke from coal tar pitch. Both companies are Japan-based. As of 2017, global EAF-based steel production is expected to witness a high growth rate. This has led to a similar rise in demand for graphite electrodes. Eventually, the rise in graphite electrode demand is expected to trigger the demand for needle coke.

The key players present in this market are Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Company Ltd., Graphite India Ltd., Phillips 66, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, and Sea-Drift Coke LP, among others.

On the basis of grade, the global needle coke market is categorized into the following segments:

  • Base Premium
  • Intermediate Premium
  • Super Premium

The needle cokes are premium types of coke that are similar to delayed cokes with high graphitization. In terms of grade, the needle coke market is segmented into base premium, intermediate premium, and super premium needle coke.

The base premium needle coke has the highest coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE), which is less than 0.65 (10-6 oC). Since the CTE influences the material behavior, it is desirable that the CTE be less than 0.5 (10-6 oC) to be able to operate at higher temperatures. The xylene density is close to 2.11 g/cm3. The xylene density for the base premium type shows that the coke has been calcined at a lower temperature. The sulfur content is less than 0.6%, and the hydrogen content is in the range of 0.035–0.055%.

The intermediate premium coke has a CTE of less than 0.5 (10–6 oC). This coefficient makes the intermediate type operable at higher temperatures. The xylene content is 2.12 g/cm3, and the hydrogen content is similar to that of the base premium type.

The super-premium needle coke has a sulfur content of less than 0.4% and similar hydrogen content to the base and intermediate types. The coefficient of thermal expansion is less than 0.4 (10-6 oC) max., and the xylene density is 2.15 g/cm3. The world's biggest manufacturers of needle cocaine also have super-premium cocaine with CTE as low as 0.1 (10-6 oC) max. Therefore, for high-grade steel and electrode production, the super-premium needle coke market was the largest globally in terms of volume in 2016. The market is expected to remain at its highest level for the forecast period of 2017–2025.

On the basis of type, the global needle cocaine market is categorized into the following segments:

  • Petroleum Derived
  • Derived from Coal Tar Pitch

Based on type, the market is segmented into oil and gas and coal-tar pitch-derived products. Needle coke is the primary heating element in an electric arc furnace (EAF) for steel production. Scrap from old cars or appliances is melted to form steel. The EAF steel furnace requires high-quality coke for graphite electrode manufacturing. The demand from the steel industry for specialty cokes is increasing for UHP (ultra-high power) EAF to produce steel. Globally, there is a huge demand for aluminum due to its vast consumption in automobiles, heavy equipment and machinery, and aircraft, among other things. Graphitized cathodes are used in aluminum production, and graphite electrodes are used in steel production. Thus, the graphitization of electrodes in metal production has led to high demand for needle coke globally.

Graphite electrodes are also produced from coal tar pitch (CTP). The CTP is used as an impregnating and binding agent to increase the strength and density of the electrode. The largest consumer of CTP is the aluminum industry. It is closely followed by the graphite industry. By volume, the share of CTP in graphite electrodes is more than 38%, and the rest is needle coke (or calcined pet coke, or CPC).

Production of needle coke from petroleum is similar to that of a conventional delayed coker unit. In a refinery, any stream with the lowest sulfur content can be considered a feed for needle coke production. Slurry oils from FCC (fluid catalytic cracking) and derivatives of tar from cookeries are also considered for needle coke.

On the basis of end-user, the global needle cocaine market is categorized into the following segments:

  • Steel Industry
  • Aluminum Industry
  • Nuclear Power
  • Others (Lithium Battery, Aerospace, Electric Carbon Brush, etc.)

In the graphite electrode manufacturing process, needle coke is a major constituent. Needle coke accounts for almost 40% of the cost of manufacturing a graphite electrode. Needle coke is a derivative of crude oil and coal tar. Its major application is in the graphite electrode industry. The graphite electrodes, in turn, are used in the manufacturing of steel and aluminum. Needle coke is used as a consumable in the production of graphite electrodes and cathode electrodes. The premium coke is able to carry a high current even at low voltage for manufacturing steel and other non-ferrous metals through the electro-arc furnace (EAF) and lathe furnace routes.

The steel industry is the largest user of needle coke in its production. Needle coke provides electrical and thermal conductivity, mechanical strength, thermal shock resistance, machinability, and thermal expansion. Needle coke is also used in the manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries, electric cars, and some of the intrinsic parts of mobile phones. The cathode required in the smelting of aluminum is also manufactured from needle coke.

Based on geographical distribution, the global needle coke market is segmented into the following regions and countries:

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
  • Europe
    • Germany
    • France
    • Italy
    • U.K.
    • Russia
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia-Pacific
    • India
    • China
    • Japan
    • Rest of Asia-Pacific
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Mexico
    • Rest of Latin America
  • Middle East and Africa
    • GCC Countries
    • South Africa
    • Rest of Middle East and Africa

The manufacturing of needle cocaine is primarily concentrated in the United States, Japan, and China.ConocoPhillips, from the U.S., is the largest manufacturer and producer of needle cocaine. The coal tar pitch-derived needle coke has only two producers in the world. Mitsubishi Chemicals and C-Chem are two Japanese companies.

One of the major concerns for graphite electrode manufacturers and suppliers is that the availability of needle coke is limited, and sometimes the waiting period is over a year. This dampens new capacity additions in the graphite electrode industry. In Japan, AGOT (Atcheson Graphite Ordinary Temperature) graphite is used as an insulator in nuclear reactors even at temperatures below 1 K (kelvin). This property is useful in controlling the chain reactions of uranium and thorium that are used in electricity production.

Needle coke availability is scarce in the global market, and its production is controlled by seven to ten players in the U.S. and Japan. The costs of processing needle coke and crude oil prices are inextricably linked. With the fluctuation in crude oil prices, needle coke manufacturers are approaching graphite electrode players for a price revision. The Asia-Pacific region consumes the most needle cocaine, followed by the Middle East and Africa. China is the largest importer of needle cocaine.

Frequently Asked Questions:

The market for Needle Coke Market is expected to reach US$ XX Mn by 2025.

The Needle Coke Market is expected to see significant CAGR growth over the coming years, at 5.1%.

The report is forecasted from 2017-2025.

The base year of this report is 2016.

Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical Company Ltd., Graphite India Ltd., Phillips 66, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, and Sea-Drift Coke LP are some of the major players in the global market.

 

 

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Godaddy
Published Date:  Dec 2017
Category:  Energy
Report ID:   58868
Report Format:   PDF
Pages:   120
Rating:    4.8 (80)
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