What Is Graphite And Where Do I Use It?
- Graphite is one of the purest and most crystalline forms of carbon and can be either mined of synthetically made.
- Natural graphite powders are mined and occur in 3 different forms: vein, amorphous (actually microcrystalline) and flake.
- Synthetic graphite powders are made from carbon precursors (like natural carbons or petcoke) through a high temperature electrochemical process.
- Both synthetic and natural graphite powders compete on final applications like batteries, carbon brushes, brake pads, lubricants, foils, refractories and recarburizers for steel.
Where is Graphite Produced?
- Natural graphite powders are mainly produced in China, which holds a 70% share of total world production, followed by Latin America with 20%. Europe production of natural graphite powders is less than 1%.
- On the other side, Europe holds a very strong share in the synthetic graphite production: about 35% of the total world production.
Specific Issues for Graphite
- Graphite is an essential ingredient in the production of the Lithium-ion batteries that will power the electrical and hybrid vehicles of tomorrow. Therefore the demand of graphite is forecasted in strong increase over the next 5-10 years.
- Today the EU has a leading position in the synthetic graphite powders production, development and marketing. To maintain and further strengthen this position, EU policy makers should focus on increasing and facilitating the market access of synthetic graphite, encouraging additional indigenous production of synthetic graphite and supporting the related R&D efforts.