Caixin OnlineEnvironment As U.S. Refuses a Dirty Fuel, China Only Too Ready to Increase Imports
12.03.2013 16:05

As U.S. Refuses a Dirty Fuel, China Only Too Ready to Increase Imports

Petcoke is a refining byproduct that developed countries won't dare to burn, but Chinese power plants can't resist the savings
By staff reporter Yu Dawei

(Beijing) – When crude oil is boiled down to make diesel, a solid matter called petroleum coke, petcoke, is left at the bottom of a refinery tank. The substance that was virtually unheard of a few years ago is fast becoming one of China's most pressing environmental concerns.

Petcoke that is 80 percent carbon and has a low sulfur content is used extensively in the steel and aluminum industries. The high-sulfur version is used for fuel in power and cement plants. It is cheaper than coal but much dirtier, resulting in more pollution and high carbon emissions.

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