Oil futures tumbled more than $5 a barrel on news that the Biden administration is considering releasing about 1 million barrels a day from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) for several months to cool surging crude prices.
Brent crude futures were down $4.71, or 4.2 percent, at $108.58 a barrel by 0035 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures fell $5.45, or 5 percent, to $102.74 a barrel.
At an earlier time, gasoline prices had already reached record levels because of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
The prices of other commodities like the natural graphite are also expected to be volatile.
What is natural graphite?
Natural graphite is naturally formed graphite.
Natural graphite is an important industrial mineral, which has applications in almost every aspect of manufacturing, including electronics, atomic energy, hot metal processing, friction, coatings, aerospace, powder metallurgy, etc.
What is graphite?
Graphite is the crystalline form of the element carbon. It consists of stacked layers of graphene. Graphite is naturally occurring and is the most stable form of carbon under standard conditions.
Synthetic and natural graphite is widely consumed in pencils, lubricants, and electrodes. At high pressure and temperature, it turns into diamonds. It is a weak conductor of heat and electricity.
What are the types of natural graphite?
The main types of natural graphite, each found in different types of deposits, include:
Small flakes of crystalline graphite (or flake graphite) occur as isolated, flat, plate-like particles with hexagonal edges if unfractured. When damaged, edges may be irregular or angular;
Amorphous graphite: Extremely fine flake graphite is sometimes called amorphous;
Lumpy graphite (or veined graphite) occurs in fissure veins or cracks as lumpy plate-like symbionts of fibrous or needle-like crystalline aggregates, probably of hydrothermal origin.
Highly ordered pyrolytic graphite refers to graphite whose angular distribution between graphite sheets is less than 1°.
The term "graphite fiber" is sometimes used to refer to carbon fiber or carbon-fiber-reinforced polymers.
What is natural graphite used for?
Natural graphite is a refractory material, a melting point up to 3650℃, and is a good conductor of heat and electricity. Some applications of graphite include batteries, lubricants, refractories, coatings and paints, metallurgy, and moderating rods in nuclear power plants.
Anode for electric vehicle
Graphite is currently the basic element in the production of lithium-ion batteries. Global demand for battery-grade natural and spherical graphite for the cathode is growing rapidly and will increase exponentially from 2022. These batteries are mainly used in consumer electronics and electric cars.
In addition to the steel industry, graphite is an important raw material for lightweight materials such as carbon fiber, and reinforced plastics used in cars and aircraft parts.
Lubricants and grease
Graphite used as a dry solid lubricant has become one of the most important and traditional dry lubricants in the world. For example, it is used as a lubricant for forging tools, steel, titanium, stainless steel, special superalloy stamping parts, die forging, hot extrusion, and impact extrusion processes.
Graphite has excellent lubrication, demoulding, and demoulding properties. It has high hiding power and ensures excellent tool wettability. The use of very pure graphite and highly refined oil reduces engraving and tool wear and residuals.
Refractory materials for steel, the crucible, etc.
The conductivity of graphite is about 100 times that of ordinary non-metallic minerals. In steel production, graphite is used as a protective agent for ingot and as a lining for metallurgical furnaces.
Graphite is also used in aluminum production as an alloy component in the cast iron and semiconductor industries.
Graphite, in the form of thin sheets or expanded graphite, offers the possibility of developing metal-graphite composites. Depending on the amount and direction of graphite incorporated, it can be used as a radiator material for thermal management, as a passive damping element in factories and mechanical engineering, or as a bearing material for slowly rotating plain bearings. By combining materials, properties such as strength, thermal conductivity, damping coefficient, thermal expansion coefficient, and Young's modulus can be specifically matched to the intended application. Powder metallurgy production can be targeted to control carbide content and can achieve up to 90% of the volume of graphite without pores. Therefore, mechanical finishing can be carried out even at very high graphite content.
Graphite is used in making brake pads. The main purpose of using graphite powder is to achieve solid lubrication and friction stability, can be used as a friction agent, and can also be used as a brake pad adhesive.
Graphite has a long tradition of producing pencils. Since the 19th century, pencil leads have been fired from a mixture of graphite and clay. Clay gives pencils hardness and pallor, while graphite gives them qualities that can best be described as black and soft.
Natural graphite Price
The price is influenced by many factors including the supply and demand in the market, industry trends, economic activity, market sentiment, and unexpected events.
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Natural graphite Supplier
Luoyang Tongrun Nano Technology Co. Ltd. (TRUNNANO) is a trusted global chemical material supplier & manufacturer with over 12-year-experience in providing super high-quality chemicals and nanomaterials including silicon powder, nitride powder, graphite powder, zinc sulfide, calcium nitride, 3D printing powder, etc.
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Gas prices in European countries are expected to triple if Russian supplies are restricted, according to a press release from Rystad Energy, a Norwegian Energy consultancy.
The price of natural gas in Europe was $1,200 per 1,000 cubic meters on Tuesday. The benchmark price is already 300 percent higher than a year ago. European gas prices are expected to continue to soar to $3,500 per 1,000 cubic meters if Russian supplies are restricted, according to Analysis by Monitor.
In 2021, Russia delivered 155 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe, accounting for 31 percent of its gas supply, according to an analysis by Monitor Advisors. It would be difficult for Europe to replace Russian gas, which would also destabilize the global LNG market and have a profound impact on Europe's population and economy.
The analysis also said that if Russia stopped supplies now, Europe's current gas reserves would be exhausted by the end of the year, setting in for a cold winter.
In addition, affected by the geopolitical factors, the supply of the natural graphite is erratic and thus its prices are expected to go higher in the future.
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