Needle Coke is a premium grade high value petroleum coke utilized for the manufacturing of the graphite electrodes. Production of needle coke demands specific feedstock, calcinations conditions and coking conditions. The hardware used is similar to that of a conventional delayed coker unit. The optimum set of the process conditions are decided by the characteristics of the feedstock. The feedstock is heated to the required temperature in the feed furnace and fed to the coking drum where coke is produced with mesophase crystalline structure. The vapor from the coking drum is fed to the fractionator followed by a gas concentration section to separate into products of desired cuts. The fractionator’s bottom is recycled along with the fresh feed. The needle coke produced in the drum is decoked utilizing high pressure water jets and the coke is subsequently calcined in the rotary calciner at optimum severity.
Needle grade coke is segmented based on the quality it possesses such as super premium, premium and intermediate. Needle coke is mostly used in the manufacturing of graphite electrode for electric steelmaking and also in the areas of nuclear power, aerospace and lithium battery. Some of the key players in the business of needle coke market are Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, Reliance Industries Ltd, Essar Oil Ltd and Royal Dutch Shell Plc among others.
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