Needle coke, also called acicular coke, is a highly crystalline petroleum coke used in the production of graphite electrodes for arc furnaces in the steel and aluminium industries and is particularly valuable because the electrodes must be replaced regularly.
Needle coke is also employed in the production of synthetic graphite for the anode material for lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles.
Needle coke is produced exclusively from either FCC decant oil or coal tar pitch.
There are two main types of needle coke:
Petroleum needle coke, produced at oil refineries.
Coal-based needle coke (pitch coke), made from coal-tar pitch.