n. a substance, mostly carbon, that is a byproduct of oil refining; used as a fuel or in many industrial applications
Petroleum coke (often abbreviated pet coke or petcoke) is a carbonaceous solid delivered from oil refinery coker units or other cracking processes. Coking processes that can be employed for making petcoke include contact coking, fluid coking, flexicoking and delayed coking. Other coke has traditionally been delivered from coal.
This coke can either be fuel grade (high in sulfur and metals) or anode grade (low in sulfur and metals). The raw coke directly out of the coker is often referred to as green coke. In this context, "green" means unprocessed. The further processing of green coke by calcining in a rotary kiln removes residual volatile hydrocarbons from the coke. The calcined petroleum coke can be further processed in an anode baking oven in order to produce anode coke of the desired shape and physical properties. The anodes are mainly used in the aluminium and steel industry.
Petcoke is over 90 percent carbon and emits 5 to 10 percent more carbon dioxide (CO) than coal on a per-unit-of-energy basis when it is burned. As petcoke has a higher energy content, petcoke emits between 30 and 80 percent more CO than coal per unit of weight. The difference between coal and coke in CO production per unit energy produced depends upon the moisture in the coal (increases the CO per unit energy – heat of combustion) and volatile hydrocarbon in coal and coke (decrease the CO per unit energy).