A tanker carrying 650,000 barrels of Venezuelan crude oil is reportedly bound for Europe, the first time Venezuela has exported crude to Europe in the past two years under US sanctions. It is analyzed that the U.S. is making up for the European energy gap caused by the sanctions against Russia by giving the green light to Venezuelan oil exports. It is reported that Venezuela is rich in oil resources, with the current proven reserves of 300 billion barrels, ranked the world's first, oil export is also one of the country's economic pillars.
Germany will take emergency measures to ensure it meets its energy needs, including increasing its use of coal, the German government said recently, after a drop in gas supplies from Russia.
"In order to reduce gas consumption, it is necessary to reduce the use of gas for electricity generation," the Economy Ministry said in a statement. We're going to have to switch to more coal-fired power plants."
The measures announced that day also include an "auction" system to sell natural gas to manufacturers, according to reports. The German government says the system will help reduce gas consumption in manufacturing industries.
The measures come as Russian energy giant Gazprom recently warned that it would sharply cut gas supplies to Europe, the report said.
The supply and prices of international bulk graphite powder are still very uncertain.
Graphite can be divided into two categories: natural graphite and artificial graphite.
Natural graphite comes from graphite mineral deposits. It can be divided into flake graphite, earthy graphite, and massive graphite.
Also known as dense crystalline graphite. The crystal of this kind of graphite is obvious and visible to the naked eye. The diameter of the particles is more than 0.1mm, the specific surface area ranges from 0.1-1m/g, and the crystals are arranged disorderly, showing a dense block structure. This kind of graphite is characterized by high grade, with a carbon content of 60%-65%, sometimes up to 80%-98%, but its plasticity and slippery property are not as good as flake graphite.
Massive graphite is the rarest and most valuable graphite ore, mainly found in Sri Lanka.
Flake graphite is formed by the combination of many single-layer graphite, which exists as a single flake in metamorphic rocks, with few reserves, high value and flake-like crystals, which are metamorphic under high pressure and can be divided into large scales and fine scales. This kind of graphite ore is characterized by low grade, generally between 2%-3% or 10%-25%. It is one of the most floatable ores in nature. High grade graphite concentrate can be obtained by grinding and dressing. The floatability, lubricity and plasticity of this kind of graphite are superior to other types of graphite, so it has the greatest industrial value.
Flake graphite is mainly distributed in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany and Madagascar.
Also known as cryptocrystalline graphite, microcrystalline graphite. The crystal diameter of this kind of graphite is generally less than 1 micron, and the specific surface area is concentrated in 1-5m/g. It is an aggregate of microcrystalline graphite, and the crystal form can only be seen under electron microscope. This kind of graphite is characterized by its earthy surface, lack of luster, and its lubricity is slightly worse than that of flake graphite. The purity is high. In general, 60%-85%, a few as high as more than 90%. It is generally used in the foundry industry. With the improvement of graphite purification technology, earthy graphite is used more and more widely.
Earthy graphite is the one with the largest reserves, with small scales and low crystallinity, which is used to produce low-value products and is the cheapest of the three kinds of graphite; earthy graphite is mainly found in Turkey, China, Europe, Mexico and the United States.
The graphite obtained by natural mining contains a lot of impurities, so it needs mineral processing to reduce its impurity content before it can be used. The main use of natural graphite is to produce refractories, brushes, flexible graphite products, lubricants, lithium-ion battery anode materials, etc., and some carbon products are sometimes added with a certain amount of natural graphite.
Artificial graphite includes single crystal graphite, polycrystalline graphite, pyrolytic graphite, highly oriented pyrolytic graphite, graphite synthesized by polyimide, graphite fiber and so on. Most artificial graphite products belong to the category of polycrystalline graphite.
Artificial graphite products are generally made of easily graphitized petroleum coke and asphalt coke through a series of processes such as batching, kneading, molding, roasting, graphitization (high temperature heat treatment) and mechanical processing, with a production cycle of tens of days.
Artificial graphite can be used in electric arc steelmaking furnace and mine thermal electric furnace. Graphite electrode is a kind of conductive material with high temperature resistance and corrosion resistance. Artificial graphite is also widely used in many other industrial sectors, such as electric brushes for motors, precision casting moulds, EDM moulds and wear-resistant components in the mechanical industry, conductors or corrosion-resistant materials used in electrolytic cells in the chemical industry, high-purity and high-strength artificial graphite is a reactor structural material in the nuclear industry and components used as missiles and rockets.
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As the duration of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine grows, its impact on commodities is widening amid the tug-of-war. Recently, European and American sanctions against Russia have been issued one after another. In response, Russia has taken advantage of its role as an important supplier of many energy and commodities, requiring exports of commodities, including energy, grain, metal, and wood, to "unfriendly" countries to be settled in robles. Therefore, it is expected that the price of the graphite powder will continue to increase.
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