Graphite is one of the crystalline minerals of carbon. It has excellent properties such as lubricity, stability, high temperature resistance and electrical conductivity. With the rise of new energy and new materials industries, graphite has become more and more widely used as an important non-metal.
The properties and uses of graphite depend on its crystal morphology. There are roughly three types of natural graphite:block graphite, flake graphite and aphanitic graphite.The crystalline morphology and grade of these three types of graphite are different, and their beneficiation processes are also different. Block graphite is of high grade,generally up to 60%~65%, or even up to 80%~98%, which is little need for mineral processing. The flake graphite and aphanitic graphite have relatively low relative grade and need to be processed by beneficiation.
Composition, Properties and Distribution of Graphite
back to top
The main component of graphite is carbon. Natural graphite usually has 10% to 20% impurities, and there is few pure graphite. The impurities include silicon dioxide, alumina, magnesium oxide, calcium oxide, phosphorus pentoxide, copper oxide, vanadium oxide, hydrogen oxide, sulfur, ferrous oxide, hydrogen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, methane, ammonia, etc. Graphite minerals are usually iron-black and steel-gray with metallic luster, while aphanitic graphite is dim and opaque.
Graphite is chemically stable, which is free from acid, alkali, and organic solvents. It has high temperature resistance, electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, and good lubricity and plasticity.
Graphite reserves in Brazil, China, India and Mexico account for 92.77% of the world's total reserves. China's basic graphite reserves account for about 33% of the world's total, second only to Brazil (about 38% of the world). Brazil's graphite ore reserves are 58 million tons, India 11 million tons of graphite and Mexico 3.1 million tons of graphite.