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Petroleum refining produces a broad spectrum of gases, liquids, and hydrocarbon products. In the early 1950s, a strong demand for gasoline and the replacement of heavy fuel oil by coal and natural gas forced U.S. refiners to convert the heavy residual fraction of crude to lighter products. The residue from this process of further fractionation resulted in a material called petroleum coke, having a volatile matter content of 8 to 18%.
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