Activated Carbon Market: Introduction

In terms of value, the global activated carbon market is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of ~8% from 2020 to 2030 and reach US$ 7.3 Bn by 2030. Asia Pacific dominated the global activated carbon market in terms of volume in 2019. It is estimated to be the leading region of the global activated carbon market during the forecast period. The water treatment industry is projected to offer lucrative opportunities for the activated carbon market in the near future.

Activated Carbon Market: Major Drivers and Restraints

The rise in usage of activated carbon in the water & wastewater treatment application is expected to drive the global activated carbon market during the forecast period. In the water filtration process, activated carbon is used to remove volatile organic compounds and chlorine from drinking water. It also helps remove lead, dissolved carbon, and contaminants. Governments across the world are spreading awareness about the health risks associated with drinking impure water. Countries such as India and China are investing significantly in water filtration plants. This is estimated to propel the activated carbon market during the forecast period.

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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 4.2 million people across the world die of air pollution every year. About 91% of population in the world lives in places where quality of air is not good for health. This increases the need for purified air. In turn, this is projected to drive the activated carbon market. Several players have taken strategic initiatives, such as acquisition, in order to expand their activated carbon business, owing to high demand for activated carbon in various industrial applications. This is also likely to boost the activated carbon market during the forecast period. For instance, in October 2018, Cabot Corporation announced that it had acquired NSCC Carbon (Jiangsu) Co., Ltd. from Nippon Steel Carbon Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Nippon Steel Chemical & Material Co., Ltd. The carbon black manufacturing facility in Pizhou, Jiangsu Province, China was originally commissioned in 2015. The 50,000 metric ton plant is estimated to support Cabot Corporation’s specialty carbons product line in the Purification Solutions segment.

Activated carbon is used in a wide range of applications, including water treatment and air purification. There is a shortage of raw materials, such as coconut shell charcoal, which are used for the production of activated carbon. Furthermore, ongoing trade conflicts have created a challenging business landscape. Thus, the prices of the raw materials has increased significantly over the last few years. Therefore, scarcity of raw material is expected to restrain the global activated carbon market during the forecast period.

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Activated Carbon Market: Prominent Segments

In terms of value, the coal based segment held a major share of the global activated carbon market in 2019. This trend is anticipated to continue during the forecast period, due to its relatively low cost filter media. Based on form, the powdered segment accounted for a significant share of the global activated carbon market in 2019. In terms of application, the water & wastewater treatment segment constituted a large share of more than 30% of the global activated carbon market in 2019. This trend is estimated to continue during the forecast period. On the other hand, the air purification segment is projected to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period.

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Competition Landscape

Major global manufacturers of activated carbon include Cabot Corporation, KURARAY CO., LTD, Osaka Gas Chemicals Co., Ltd., HAYCARB (PVT) LTD, and KUREHA CORPORATION.

Global Activated Carbon Market: Segmentation

Activated Carbon Market, by Raw Material

  • Coal Based
  • Coconut Shell Based
  • Wood Based
  • Others (including Petroleum Pitch)

Activated Carbon Market, by Form

  • Powdered
  • Granular/Crushed
  • Extruded/Pelletized
  • Others (including Spherical)

Activated Carbon Market, by Application

  • Water & Wastewater Treatment
  • Air Purification
  • Food & Beverages
  • Industrial Chemicals
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Automotive
  • Mining
  • Others

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