Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Public Health

Major Professor

Raymond D. Harbison, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Giffe T. Johnson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Marie Bourgeois, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Nicholas Hall, Ph.D.


pet coke, calcined coke, black carbon, TEOM, petrochemical pollution


Calcined coke is a high quality carbon material produced by calcining green petroleum coke. Calcining is the process of heating green petroleum coke in a kiln to remove excess moisture, extract all remaining hydrocarbons, and modify the crystalline structure of the coke into a denser, electrically conductive product. The final product, calcined coke, is primarily used to make carbon anodes for the aluminum industry and recarburizing agent for industries such as the steel industry. If not appropriately controlled, the calcining process could lead to excess production of particulate emissions from either handling or storing of raw coke, or from the stack emissions during the production of calcined coke. Though calcined coke has shown low hazard potential in human populations due to low volatile content, there remains some public health concern regarding the emissions from these facilities. This study is designed to evaluate the emissions of petroleum coke calcining facility and assess the public health concern from the processes engaged in the handling and storage of green coke as well as from the calcining process. The ambient air levels were measured from a calcining facility and compared with the standards promulgated by USEPA. The results showed that pollutant contribution from the facility, measured by monitoring carbon fraction of the emissions, was de-minimis. The current research also studied whether the exposure levels and health risks specified in various epidemiological studies correlate with the standards promulgated by USEPA to protect public health from petrochemical emissions.