Petroleum coke or pet coke, is a byproduct created when bitumen found in tar sands is refined into crude oil. High grade pet coke has lower content of sulphur and heavy metals, and is useful in energy industry, and to make electrodes for steel, and aluminium industry. Majority of pet coke produced is of lower grade, containing higher levels of sulphur and heavy metals and is used solely as fuel in blast furnace and power plants.
Being a cost-effective fuel, it has found applications in several energy intensive industries including cement, energy, railway, steel, and aluminium. Rise in production of these industries is a key factor driving growth of the global petroleum coke market. Emerging economies such as China, and India are leading consumers of coal, which use pet coke for its numerous coal-fired power stations. Pet coke is not only cost-effective, but is also highly energy efficient, due to its high carbon content, resulting in developing countries opting for it instead of coal, which is another factor expected to further drive growth of the global market to a significant extent over the forecast period.
However, inhalation of dust from pet coke storage, and handling operations present serious health risks. Combustion of pet coke also emits small amount of sulphur gases, affecting heart and lungs adversely, which is a major factor restraining growth of the global petroleum coke market. Nonetheless, adoption of calcined petroleum coke or green coke in lime production, which is used as building and engineering materials is anticipated to further drive the global petroleum coke market.
The global petroleum coke market is segmented on the basis of product type, end-user, and region. On the basis of region, the target market is segmented into the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, and rest of the world.
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The market in the Americas accounted for majority share in terms of revenue in the global petroleum coke market, owing to high levels of export of pet coke from the US, and presence of major energy companies consuming pet coke. The market in Asia Pacific accounted for second-highest share in terms of revenue, owing to increased demand from developing countries including China, and India, for infrastructure development, and to support production of its automotive, cement, and steel industries.
Key players in the global petroleum coke market are Chevron Corporation, BP Plc, Essar Oil Limited, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Indian Oil Corporation Limited, Reliance Industries Limited, Saudi Arabian Oil Co., HPCL Mittal Energy Limited, and Valero Energy Corporation.