China is one of the major petcoke importers from the U.S. that is generally considered as waste. The U.S. is the largest petcoke producer and subsequently the major exporter of fuel grade petcoke to China which has high sulfur content. Of the total imports, fuel grade petcoke accounts for more than 70% which is primarily used in cement industries and power plants. The increase in high sulfur petcoke imports raises environment concerns as it emits higher greenhouse gases than coal. Initially, China was totally dependent on coal which was the major source of carbon emissions so; the Chinese government reduced its consumption to 64% in order to reduce its pollution levels. So the manufacturers started relying on high sulfur petcoke for its usage in power and cement industries as it is more advantageous than coal but the effects of high sulfur petcoke recently came into flash light.
Recently, China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection published a report stating that only eight out of total cities are fit for the national air quality standards. Due to high environmental concerns, the Chinese government took necessary actions to fight against air pollution. In August 2015, the Chinese government revised its air pollution control law. In this law, Chinese government insisted to ban high sulfur petcoke imports which do not meet specific quality concerns. The new regulation on petcoke imports would take effect from early 2016.