A look on Graphite & its Rising Popularity Worldwide

Everyone every day or the other talks about carbon, and why not? It is a crucial ingredient in numerous applications, viz. for manufacturing materials, plants' respiration, and a lot more. Well, we will know about its most stable form, i.e., graphite, and its varied applications across different sectors. Graphite is used extensively owing to its versatility & unique properties of both metals & non-metals, right from the tip of the pencil to a lithium-ion battery.

With rapid advances in society, its application has scaled to numerous industrial materials, high-end batteries, & fire-safe products, among others. Considering these aspects, a recent study by MarkNtel Advisors has projected around 5% CAGR for the Global Graphite Market during 2022-27. Curious to know about the prominent reasons behind it? Continue reading the blog to learn more.

It is urban developments & industrialization that have surged the demand for graphite in recent years across manufacturing & construction industries globally. Due to graphite's both natural & synthetic properties, coupled with its high electro-conductivity, malleability, & tensile strength, the manufacturing industry is extensively exercising its potential in indefinite ways.

Several companies in the graphite industry, including Imerys S.A., SGL Carbon SE, etc., are rigorously conducting R&D activities to expand its application further. Furthermore, the booming Electric Vehicle (EV) industry is leading to the growing production of lithium-ion batteries, in which graphite is the key component as an anode, whereas a lubricant in brake linings & gaskets of the vehicle. It is how graphite is becoming more & more popular worldwide and yet not stopping. In the blog ahead, we will see its key applications, varying dynamics across different geographies, and future directions.

The Most Prominent Aspects associated with Graphite

As stated earlier, graphite comes in both natural & synthetic forms. Among the two, the synthetic one is more utilized globally owing to its high purity levels, lightweight, excellent thermal & electric conductivity, and better durability & corrosion resistance than natural graphite. Moreover, applications of synthetic graphite are also more than the natural ones & they include foundries, lubricants, refractory materials, electrodes, recarburizers, & coatings. Besides, synthetic graphite is also being utilized extensively in steel manufacturing using Electric Arc Furnaces (EAFs).

Graphite's top end-users include metallurgy, electronics, & automotive sectors, where metallurgy, which comprises electrodes, refractories, casting, and foundries, remains the most prominent one. Graphite-based electrodes are used mainly in furnaces for smelting, steel making, ferroalloy production, & also for making silicon metal. In applications involving steel molding, various types of aluminum & graphite compounds are available in the form of nozzles & troughs.

How will Graphite be instrumental in creating a renewable future?

Scientists have discovered breakthroughs in renewable sources by using graphene, a derivative of graphite. Since graphite is the most significant mineral component found in lithium-ion batteries, graphene is likely to be the hope of renewable energy in the coming years. It can be well-utilized for electrical components and items like sensors, batteries, composites, & ion-exchange membranes, among others.

In addition, it can replace platinum & also be implemented in biosensing & electronics owing to its strength & durability. Moreover, since graphene can provide 10 times better energy charging, it can enhance EV efficiency.

China, the largest exporter of graphite, is substantially investing in establishing more & more steel mills that use EAFs. The country's extensive production capacity of UHP graphite electrodes used in steel manufacturing shall continue creating new avenues for the leading companies participating in the graphite industry over the years ahead.

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