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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals, minerals, and fuels 1972
Year 1972, Volume 1 (1972)

Sheridan, Eugene T.
Coke and coal chemicals,   pp. 427-460 PDF (3.1 MB)


Page 427

  427Coke and Coal Chemicals 
By Eugene T. Sheridan' 
 Production of coal coke in the United States in 1972 was about 5% greater
than in 1971. The increased output was attributed partially to the fact that
coke plants operated continuously throughout the year whereas, in 1971, operations
were curtailed by labor strikes in both the steel and bituminous coal industries.
Part of the increase was the result of greater demand for coke 
-by -blast furnaces, which increased their output of pig iron and ferroalloys
in 1972 by nearly 10%. 
 Production, which averaged 5.0 million tons per month, remained relatively
stable throughout the year. The average output per day for all plants ranged
from a low of 155,000 tons in January to a high of 172,000 tons in April,
with daily output for the year averaging 165,000 tons. 
 Demand -for coke exceeded production during most of the year and producers
month-end stocks of oven coke were 16% lower at the end of the year than
when the year began. Stocks on hand -at ovencoke ' plants at the end of 1972
were equivalent to 18 days' production at the December rate of output. 
 Blast -furnaces continued to use the bulk of the Nation's coke production,
receiving 92% of the 61.1 million tons of coke distributed by producers.
However, consumption of coke per ton of hot metal produced at blast furnaces
decreased, because of a significant increase in the quantities of fuel oil,
tar, and pitch used as supplemental ' fuels in blast -furnaces. 
 -Breeze production increased 5%, mainly because more coal was carbonized.
Breeze is unsuitable for most metallurgical applications because of its small
size and high ash content, the larger part of the breeze production is used
by producers for sintering iron ores and other industrial purposes. However,
50% of the 1972 output was sold, mainly for use as a reductant in 
electric furnaces that smelt phosphate rock to produce elemental phosphorus~.
Sales of breeze in 1972 were 13% greater than in 1971. 
 Coal costs increased substantially in 1972. The average delivered value
of coking -coals carbonized at oven-coke plants increased $1.73 per ton,
while the value of coking coals carbonized at beehive plants increased $1.31
per ton. Price increases were reported by plants in all States except Minnesota
and Wisconsin; the largest increases were noted for the coals received by
plants in Kentucky, Missouri, Termesee, and Texas. 
 Production of coke-oven gas increased 6% because of a higher yield and because
more coal was carbonized. Output of ammonia, crude tar, and -crude light
oil increased also, for the same reasons. 
 Coke prices increased again during 1972. The average value of $40.70 per
ton received by producers for all grades of oven coke and $22.04 per ton
for all grades of beehive coke represented respective price increases of
9% and 3%. The average value of blast-furnace coke remained at about the
level of 1971. The unit value of foundry and other industrial coke, however,
increased 7% and 24%, respectively. 
 Foreign trade in coke was relatively small; exports amounted to only about
2% of the production. The bulk of the coke exported was shipped to Canada,
West Germany, Mexico, the Netherlands, and Spain. Exports declined 18% from
the 1971 level. 
 The total value of all coals carbonized was $1,374 million, and the total
value of all products of carbonization was 
million. The combined value of coke and breeze, the principal products, accounted
' for 88% of the total value of all products. 
 I Supervisory mineral specialist, Division of Fossil Fuels—Mineral
Supply. 


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