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Activated Carbon Market

Activated Carbon Market: Information by Type (Powdered activated carbon, Granular activated carbon), Application (Liquid Phase, Gas Phase), End User, and Region — Forecast till 2030

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Market Snapshot

market snapshot
Base Year:
Study Period:
2.76 %
Fastest Growing Market:
North America
Largest Market:

The global activated carbon market size was valued at USD 3.41 billion in 2021 and is anticipated to reach USD 4.36 billion in 2030 expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.76% from 2022 to 2030. To enhance the surface area available for chemical reactions and adsorption, processed carbon is often activated to create activated carbon, which has pores that are tiny and have a low volume. The processing of organic material that already contains a significant amount of carbon results in the production of activated carbon. Activated carbon's primary feature is adsorption, which makes it useful for a wide variety of applications, including decaffeination, the finishing of metals, pharmaceuticals, filters, the removal of pollutants, and the storage of fuel. Activated carbon is used to remove lead, dissolved radon, mercury, and other odor-causing substances is enhanced by the fact that activated carbon may exist in both liquid and gaseous phases.

The product's principal function is to remove compounds that have an effect on the odour and taste by adsorbing dissolved organic pollutants and then flushing them out of the system. The implementation of activated carbon injection (ACI) technology has made it possible to use purification processes that are more efficient and less expensive. For the most part, cement kilns and power plants make use of these techniques in order to cut down on mercury emissions. A prominent aspect that has been driving the market is the rising pollution that is the result of emissions that are produced during the product production process.

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Market Dynamics

Global Activated Carbon Market Drivers

Increasing product demand for air and gas purification will boost market expansion

Because of its great adsorption potential for a broad variety of molecules, including odorous chemicals and carcinogenic pollutants, activated carbon is an ideal choice for the purification of air and gas. This is because activated carbon can remove contaminants. In applications like as personal safety and residential air purification, it removes potentially dangerous contaminants from the air streams, so supplying clean, non-hazardous air to the environment. In addition, the product finds application in the treatment of biogas and the separation of hydrogen. Because it protects equipment further down the production line, such as engines, catalysts, and fuel cells, from the corrosive effects of silicon dioxide and boosts output yields, it helps keep production costs to a minimum.

It is predicted that most processing plants would lessen the amount of potentially harmful or offensive substances that are released into the atmosphere. Air filtration systems that utilise activated charcoal are among the most effective technologies now available for removing both organic and inorganic contaminants from the air. A significant risk to one's health can be posed by the presence of volatile organic compounds in any setting, including those found in airports, workplaces, and even homes.

Growing Need for Water Treatment Applications to Support Market Expansion

The increased number of people who want clean and risk-free drinking water is driving up the demand for the commodity. The qualities of the product, such as its large surface area accessible for adsorption, which makes it easy to remove impurities including oils, microorganisms, odor- and taste-imparting substances, and chemicals, are likely to be a contributing factor in the expansion of the market. For instance, Carbon Activated Corp. offers solutions for the industrial sector, as well as municipal groundwater filter systems in the United States and VOC/siloxane removal systems for biogas engines throughout Europe. The increased population of the world is driving up the demand for clean water among consumers and, as a consequence, driving up the amount of money spent on water purification.

The ever-increasing levels of water pollution have forced the authorities in charge of government policy to impose rigorous limits on the treatment of wastewater from industrial sources. Because of this, many different businesses, including the paper and pulp industry, the chemical industry, and the paint and dye industry, have installed water treatment units in their facilities, which has led to an increase in demand for charcoal to remove pollutants.

Global Activated Carbon Market Restraints

Price increases due to a lack of raw materials will restraint growth

A potential threat to the expansion of the industry is the limited availability of many different types of raw materials, such as charcoal made from coconut shells. As a direct consequence of this, the cost of raw materials, particularly charcoal made from coconut shells, has increased. The price of goods derived from coal has gone up as a result of the rising demand for energy. Coal is utilised extensively in China in major application sectors such as the production of power, cement, and iron and steel factories, all of which are seeing steady growth. Because of this, there is now a lack of appropriate coal grades that are utilised in the production of the product. The decrease in consumer demand for coconut has, however, influenced the operational output of producers. As a result, manufacturers have been pushed to boost their production capabilities by between 50 and 60%, which has led to a rise in product prices.

Global Activated Carbon Market Opportunity

Reactivated carbon will create profitable prospects for manufacturers of activated carbon

Significant demand for activated carbon has been brought about by stringent rules surrounding the preservation of air quality as well as an increase in the number of municipal and industrial wastewater treatment facilities. Because of this, the pressure on the companies that generate activated carbon has intensified. As a solution, several companies that manufacture activated carbon are shifting their attention to the manufacturing of reactivated carbon, which, in comparison to the price of virgin activated carbon, is 20–30% less expensive. An alternative to conventional activated carbon that is both more cost-effective and less harmful to the natural world is reactivated carbon.

Segmentation of Global Activated Carbon Market

The activated carbon market is segmented into the following g categories: Type, Application, End Use, and By Region.

By Type Analysis

Based on Type the market is divided into powdered activated carbon and Granular activated carbon. The market for powdered activated carbon (PAC) was by far the most lucrative in this sector. In 2021, it was estimated of worth USD 2,099.62 million, exhibiting a CAGR of 3.2% between 2021 and 2030. PAC has a high adsorption capacity, can accomplish a wide variety of treatment objectives, and is able to filter out a wide variety of particles. The utility industry that uses coal to generate power has a strong need for a product that removes mercury from the environment. The firm has announced that it would increase its manufacturing capacity for PAC by 35 million pounds per year in order to fulfil this demand.

In 2021, the value of the granular activated carbon (GAC) market was estimated to be USD 1,151.47 million. This is a result of it having the ability to regenerate. The usage of GAC is prevalent in municipal water treatment facilities as well as air treatment plants. Coal and charcoal made from coconut shells are the two primary raw materials that go into the production of GAC.

By Application Analysis

Based on Application the market is divided into Liquid Phase and Gas Phase. A significant element that is anticipated to be beneficial to the market is the steadily increasing demand for water treatment techniques brought about by standards and laws that require businesses to implement these procedures. These kinds of rules have been issued by many governments and agencies in an effort to protect the environment. It is anticipated that these measures would be beneficial to the market throughout the course of the projected period. Purification of air is a significant part of the gas phase. Companies such as Kuraray Corporation and important formulators of the product for applications involving the gas phase. Activated carbon is used extensively across the sector of the air purification industry, and its applications range from gas masks to air conditioners. In applications involving gaseous phases, the product can also be utilised for the separation of gases, the recovery of solvents, and other similar tasks. The gas-phase application is expected to dominate the market during the forecast period in terms of revenue and reach a total of 24.96 billion US dollars by the year 2030. It is also the form that is expanding at the quickest rate.

The liquid phase is the contributor to the second-largest amount of income on a worldwide scale. The market is being pushed by rising worries about the environment as well as legislation that requires businesses to use water treatment methods that are less harmful to the environment. Granular activated carbon is manufactured by businesses like Evoqua Water Technologies and sold under the brand names AquaCarb and Westates for use in liquid phase applications such as the treatment of water and other liquids.

By End Use Analysis

Based on End use the market is divided into Water Treatment and Air Purification. The technology that treats water is becoming increasingly popular all around the world. Numerous businesses located all over the world are constantly exploring new avenues of innovation and development in the field of water treatment and recycling technology. It is hypothesised that regulations that require businesses to implement eco-friendly manufacturing processes and employ water management strategies that are effective would help the market even more. The air purification end-user was the second-largest revenue contributor worldwide in the year 2021. This might be attributed to the growing demand for air-conditioners and air filters in commercial as well as residential settings. It is anticipated that technological improvements, together with fast-growing disposable income and increasing affordability to choose fresher air, will help the market over the period covered by the forecast.

It is anticipated that increasing adsorbent uses in the food and beverage sector as well as the processing industry will help the market. Activated carbon offers several benefits, some of which include the simple removal of disagreeable tastes, the efficient, rapid, and total elimination of undesirable smells, and the maintenance of colour consistency over an extended period of time. The food and beverage sectors can both benefit from activated carbon as a result of these advantages.

Regional Overview of Global Activated Carbon Market

Based on region the market is divided into the following market North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.

Activated Carbon Market Regional Analysis

Regional Growth Insights Request Sample Pages

In 2021, the Asia-Pacific region held a revenue share that was equivalent to 50% of the whole market. This is because of the fact that Asia Pacific is an excellent market for the acquisition of coconut shells and AC that is derived from coconut shells. In this part of the world, uses for activated carbon most frequently involve the cleaning of water and the mining of gold. Because they have a higher proportion of oil, dried coconuts from India are favoured above those from any of the other nations that make up the Asia Pacific region. Coconut shells are sourced from several different nations in Asia, including Sri Lanka, Indonesia, the Philippines, and India, by a number of the most significant market participants, including Jacobi Carbons and Haycarb.

After the Asia-Pacific region, the largest market in the world is North America. It is anticipated that the primary elements having a beneficial influence on the market would be an increase in environmental concerns, a growth in the proportion of elderly people in the population, and growing demand for automobiles in the region. The number of applications for PAC is anticipated to skyrocket, and it is predicted that the number of applications for the gas phase will follow a similar pattern.

Competitors in the Activated Carbon Market

List of key activated carbon market suppliers profiled

  • Osaka Gas Co. Ltd. (Japan)
  • Cabot Corporation (US)
  • Kuraray Co. Ltd. (Japan)
  • Haycarb Plc (Sri Lanka)
  • Kureha Corporation (Japan)

Recent Development by Key Players

In the month of October 2018, Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. worked together on a project for an air purification unit using activated carbon fibres (ACF) in the Republic of Indonesia. The project's goal was to use an air filtration system with activated carbon fibre (ACF) to lower nitrogen oxide (NOx), a roadside air pollutant, in Indonesia. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has adopted the project as one of its collaboration programmes with the private sector for disseminating Japanese technologies for the social and economic development of developing countries. Its goals are to demonstrate the system's efficacy and encourage its widespread installation.

For odour management and hydrogen sulphide elimination, Cabot Corporation introduced activated carbon under the name DARCO H2S HF in September 2016.

Global Activated Carbon Market: Segmentation

By Type

  • Powdered activated carbon
  • Granular activated carbon

By Application

  • Liquid Phase
  • Gas Phase

By End User

  • Water Treatment
  • Air Purification

By Region

  • North America
  • Asia Pacific
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
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