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Where is graphite extracted from? Find out more here!

Knowing how graphite is obtained helps us to understand the value of this element in different industries. Since, its use is indispensable to increase productivity in different processes and machinery.

Where is graphite extracted from? Find out more here!

Knowing where and how graphite is extracted helps us to understand the value of this element in different industries. Its use is essential to increase productivity in different processes and machinery.

For this, it is important to know the general data of this mineral. Recognizing as essential to some degree economic, but above all practical for those interested in developing their business with graphite innovations.

We provide basic information when we refer to where graphite is extracted from, which are the countries that produce it and what are the different types that exist.

Where is graphite mined?

It is extracted from mines, specifically from carbonaceous rocks, and is considered a mineral that is soft, odorless and non-toxic. Its characteristics or properties are as follows:

  • It is one of the best electrical conductors.
  • It has a strong resistance to various acids
  • To melt it, it requires a temperature of 3,725ºC.
  • Lubricant, because the graphite layers slide easily against each other.

Now that we know where graphite is extracted from, it is important to know that there are different types of graphite such as:

The natural graphite: Which has a color between metallic gray, it is formed with metamorphic recrystallization, that is, when the rocks have oil, the deposit of this mineral is created.

Therefore, it is refractory, it mixes very well with solid and liquid elements. It has a high resistance to thermal shock, which makes it ideal in the metallurgical industry.

It is also easily found in nature, since it combines with elements such as calcite, quartz and iron oxide, among others.

Natural graphites are classified into three:

  1. Crystalline graphite in flakes: this is where graphene is obtained, since it is formed from plates that are flat and have angular or rounded edges and has a purity of 70 to 96%.
  2. Crystalline vein: i.e., an elongated layer or sheet that fills the crack of a rock and stands out for its color or shape, this graphite is extracted in mining.
  3. The amorphous crystalline graphite: its formation is through hard coal sediments, which are buried vegetable sediments, it has small crystals that do not have a specific shape. The carbon in this element is less than 85%.

Which countries are producers of natural graphite?

The study Mineral Commodity Summaries mentions where graphite is extracted worldwide: China produces 700 metric tons; Brazil 96 metric tons; Madagascar with 47 metric tons; Canada 40 metric tons; and India with 35 metric tons.

It is important to mention that Mexico is in tenth position with 9 metric tons. Therefore, this element is important for different national industries.

What is synthetic graphite?

It was created by man in the early 20th century, with a carbonization and graphitization process, in which coal or oil is heated to more than 1,000ºC and the mixture creates a high purity graphite.

There are two types of synthetic graphites which are:

  1. Pyrolytic: which is very commonly used to extract graphene sheets, through carbon deposits that are heated to 1,800ºC. Graphitization is also used, which is the corrosion of the casting, removing the metallic elements so that the graphite is born.
  2. Isotropic: are melted to mix the coke and a binder, to generate a pressing that is carbonized and then subjected to a graphitization process to obtain the desired element.

This helps us to understand all the uses it has and answer the question of where graphite is extracted In addition, it is used in the automotive industries, in friction materials, in wiper blades or brake pads. In the lubricant industry, it is used in powder form, because it is highly lubricating. In the metallurgical industry, graphite is also used for its refractory properties, since it reduces corrosion and thermal shock.

The chemical industry uses this element to manufacture different products such as ammunition, paints or fibers.

Conclusions on where graphite is extracted

To conclude, by extracting graphite naturally, you acquire endless possibilities to use it. Therefore, several industries use it as a key element.

There are several countries where graphite is extracted, and Mexico is one of them, in fact it is in the top 10 producers worldwide.