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Uses of Petroleum Coke

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Last updated date: 13th Jul 2024
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What is Petroleum Coke?

Petroleum coke is a byproduct of the oil refinery industry.  Petroleum coke refers to all types of carbonised solids obtained in petroleum processing, including green or crude, calcined and needle petroleum coke (types of Pet coke).

Petroleum coke is a solid composed mainly of carbon. It is similar to coke, but it is derived from petroleum (coke is made from coal).  Petroleum coke can be used as an industrial fuel, but there are very toxic by-products based on nickel and vanadium that make it problematic.  Petroleum coke is also used in the aluminium industry and the heat treatment of steel and iron. Two types of pet coke are produced viz.  Fuel-grade pet coke (80%) and calcined pet coke (20%) during oil refining.

Petroleum Coke

Petroleum Coke

Applications of Petroleum Coke

Petroleum coke is a byproduct of petroleum refining, useful in the production of electrodes used as a carbon anode for the aluminium industry, graphite electrodes for making steel, solid fuel boilers used to generate electricity, as fuel in firing, and as fuel for cement, and so on.

It is classified as a bottom-barrel fuel because it is the residual waste material obtained after refining coal to extract lighter fuels such as petrol.



  • It is used as a source of energy and carbon for various industrial applications.

  • It is used abundantly in many manufacturing industries such as cement, steel, and textiles in India as it is much cheaper than coal, has a higher calorific value, and is easier to transport and store.

  • Calcined petroleum coke, often low in sulphur and metallic impurities, is used to make anodes for the smelting industry.

How is Petroleum Coke Used in the Cement Industry?

Due to the characteristics of pet coke, pet coke is a very popular fuel for the production of thermal energy in the present industries.  Most of it is being used by cement factories in India.

  •  It is a product with high carbon, high sulphur, and low ash content.

  •  It has high calorific value and low cost.

Pet coke generates more heat than coal. The combustion of pet coke requires relatively little air.



Solved Questions

1. How is petroleum coke made?

Ans: During the refining process of petroleum, a by-product with high sulphur and high carbon content is produced. The sulphur that is separated from the fuel during the refining of petroleum ends up in waste products such as pet coke.

2. Write True or False.

  1. Petroleum Coke is more expensive than coal. - False.

  2. Petroleum coke is a byproduct of the oil refining industry. - True.

Learning by Doing

Kids Activity: Find the 'Odd One Out’.

  • Kerosene

  • Jet oil

  • Gasoline

  • Coal Gas

  • Diesel

  • Petroleum Coke

Hint: Find one that is not a product of the oil refining industry.


As we have already read the chapter, we know petroleum coke is a valuable and essential commercial product used directly in a wide range of applications including the manufacture of aluminium fuels and many other products including steel, glass, paint, and fertiliser. This chapter was all about the application of petroleum coke.

FAQs on Uses of Petroleum Coke

1. Write one characteristic of Petroleum Coke.

Petroleum coke is characterised as a high-grade fuel with a high calorific value of over 8,000 kcal per kg, with low ash content and low volatile matter but high sulphur content.

2. Which industry uses Petroleum Coke as fuel?

Petroleum Coke is used as an energy source in the Cement Industry.

3. Who is the biggest importer of Pet Coke?

India is the largest importer of Petroleum Coke in the World.