A local research team has developed a way to recycle oil residue into synthetic graphite.
It's expected the new technology will lead to an improvement in a number of domestic businesses, including electric vehicles, in the near future.
Cho Sung-min reports.
The Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology announced that it recently developed a technology that can produce synthetic graphite out of petroleum waste.
Synthetic graphite is considered to be one of the most useful resources in manufacturing electronic products and appliances,...since it boasts a high conductivity rate for heat and electricity.
They are essential in making anode materials, which go into smartphones, computer parts, and electric vehicles.
The team says the technology works,...because it found a way to produce petroleum pitch.
Pitch is made with oil grease that is left behind after crude oil gets refined into petrol or diesel oil.
Making pitch requires highly-advanced technology,...and until now, most nations including Korea, had all relied on imports from the U.S., Japan, and Germany.
Among them, Korea has been one of the biggest importers of pitch and anode materials.
With this new technology, however, researchers say Korea has become self-sufficient and won't need to import the resource any more.
"Pitch is an irreplaceable resource when making graphite and carbon fiber. It melts under high heat and can transform anything into powder."
Researchers also said the new technology will bring down cost of products that use anode materials...and will contribute in improving the domestic electric car industry,...which heavily relies on graphite.
Cho Sung-min, Arirang News.