Outstanding properties needed in many energy applications.

Natural graphite is the current anode material used in the growing market of Li-ions batteries and stationary storage.

Carbon graphite is classified as a non-metallic elements with outstanding properties.

Graphite is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity. It is the highest natural strength and stiffness of any material. It can also maintain its strength and stability to temperatures in excess of 3'600 °Celsius. For infrastructure, it offers one of the lightest of all reinforcing agents. Graphite is chemically inert with a high resistance to corrosion. .

Graphite is part of critical raw materials which is exposed to vulnerability of supply disruptions and of a need to safeguard its industries from the repercussions of a loss of supplies.

Graphite is used in many energy related applications as electric vehicles, Pebble Bed Nuclear Reactors, fuel cells, solar panels and electronics ranging from smartphones to laptops.

CRM are a selection of materials of economic importance, facing a supply risk and having a lack of substitutes. Europe, United States and other countries have identified CRM and their lists has evolved with the progress in science of materials. Progress in Science of Materials bring tremendous advancement in using speciality metals for the benefits of energy efficiency, productivity, the way we communicate or how we store our data and soon our household energy. Those progress are today only possible by using what have become Critical Raw Materials. .

Graphite Ocurrence

Natural Graphite occurs in three different types:

AMORPHOUS GRAPHITE Most abundant form of graphite with no visible crystallisation. Amorphous graphite has a low carbon content of 70-80% and its low purity make it a not suitable quality for use in most applications.

FLAKE GRAPHITE Less common form of graphite with a carbon range of 85-98%. The price is much higher than amorphous graphite. Flake graphite is used in many traditional applications and in emerging technology graphite applications (e.g. Li-ion battery anode material).

HIGH CRYSTALLINE GRAPHITE High Crystalline Graphite (vein, lump or crystalline vein) is only extracted from Sri Lanka. Carbon content ranges between 90 % and 99%. Its scarcity and high cost restricts viability for most applications.

Synthetic graphite is a manufactured product made by high-temperature treatment of amorphous carbon materials. Raw material can be calcined petroleum coke and coal tar pitch. Very expensive production cost — up to 10 times the cost of natural graphite – and less appealing for use in most applications.

/Spherical graphite
Spherical graphite
High purity graphite Manufactured and purified products
Spherical graphite is a refined product from flake or vein graphite by applying a sequence of mechanical and chemical processing steps. High purity spherical graphite product offers the advantage of increased surface area and conductivity creating a battery anode with superior performance for lithium ion batteries. When high purity levels are targeted, intergrown mineral phases residing in the graphite, have to be removed. Additional acids washing can be required to remove impurities insoluble at alkaline conditions. These additional process can hampered the economics of a project depending of the quality required by end users. thereof is applied.

Supply/Demand
Graphite Figures

Graphite has been used since neolithic times, where it was used in southeastern Europe in a ceramic paint. Today, Natural graphite is used for refractories, batteries, steel-making, brake linings, foundry facings and as a lubricant.

Graphite is used in many energy related applications as electric vehicles, Pebble Bed Nuclear Reactors, fuel cells, solar panels and electronics ranging from smartphones to laptops.

In batteries, Graphite, synthetic and natural, has been the standard lithium-ion anode active material since introduction by Sony in 1991. Today, natural graphite remains the safest, most cost-effective anode active material.

.