In the materials and minerals category, China stands first as the leader in graphite production. This utterly important yet overlooked material is used in many different industries for many purposes, from nuclear plants to the pencils.
China plays a significant role in global production, making a huge contribution to many essential elements. A whopping 90% of the world's gallium and 60% of its germanium come from China, showing the country's influential position in producing these vital materials. Since they produce most of the world’s gallium and germanium, China is the top global producer and exporter of graphite, playing a crucial role in the worldwide market for this mineral. China also refines more than 90% of the world's graphite, showing its important role in the refining process on a global scale.
The history of graphite production in China dates back centuries. Ancient Chinese civilizations have seen the value of this mineral many years ago for writing purposes long before its industrial purposes were discovered. The use of graphite as a writing tool can be traced back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), where it was commonly used for calligraphy due to its smoothness and durability. In recent decades, China's focus on industrialization has led to many different advancements in graphite production technology. The country has invested heavily in research and development to improve extraction methods and improve the quality of graphite products.
Graphite, a versatile and essential mineral, has played a significant role in China's industrial development throughout history. As the world's leading producers of graphite, China has been able to use the potential of this material to fuel its economic growth and technological advancements. The importance of graphite in China cannot be overstated. This mineral is used in various industries, including steelmaking, batteries, lubricants, refractories, nuclear reactors and electronics.
With technology improving so fast everyday, more and more electric vehicles are being manufactured. The most important component to an electric vehicle is the lithium ion battery, being the heart, the energy source of the vehicle. Graphite is the largest component of the lithium ion battery, since half of the battery is comprised of graphite. Graphite is also the key raw material in the anode with most EV battery anodes being 100% graphite. Usually each vehicle on average needs around 50 to 100 kilograms of graphite. With Electric Vehicles growing so much in such a small amount of time the amount of Graphite needed to build the cars skyrocketed. EV sales are also expected to more than triple by 2030 to 35 Million from 2022.
Why is China superior to other countries in the production of graphite? The country has several reasons to why they’re so successful. Even though China has been reducing the amount of graphite being mined, Chinese mines use many advanced technologies like extraction and purification, so that they spend less money on producing the graphite and being more efficient at the same time. Another reason why China is superior to other countries in the production of graphite is because China is a significant manufacturing center globally. China's strong industrial and technological sectors drive its constant need for graphite. The country's growing demand for graphite-dependent products like lithium-ion batteries and refractories enhances its dominance in graphite production.