Autumn new market research report “Global Market for Activated Carbon: 2018 – 2024” estimates that the global activated carbon market will reach $6.4 billion by 2024, growing at a CAGR of 10.8% over the forecast period (2019-2024). The growing applications across various end-use industries is driving the demand for activated carbon globally. Activated carbon is the major adsorbent in global adsorbent market occupying more than two-third of the volume market share due to its high adsorption capacity and large surface area.

Activated Carbon is a crude form of graphite that has a random imperfect structure, is highly porous and has strong physical adsorption forces. Activated carbon works through physical adsorption, the porous nature of the charcoal provides a large surface area for the contaminants to get adsorbed through the attractive forces of the surface.

In recent times, the market for activated carbon has been growing at a rapid pace due to its increasing application in water treatment, air and gas filtration, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, and automotive sectors. Over the forecast period, the demand for activated carbon is driven by increasing focus on curbing the pollution levels, rising health awareness and stringent regulations such as Mercury and Air Toxic Standard (MATS) and Clean Air Act.

Recent Developments:

  • In 2018, Kuraray Co., Ltd., a Japanese manufacturer of functional resins, chemical products, and other materials, announced that it has successfully completed the acquisition of Calgon Carbon Corporation, a global leading manufacturer and distributor of activated carbon. The move was initiated to enable Kuraray to expand its carbon materials business with a global focus on activated carbon, activated carbon services, and filtration media.

Water Treatment and Air & Gas Treatment to Account for Dominant Market Share

During 2018, water treatment, along with air and gas treatment, collectively accounted for the highest usage of activated carbon with over 62% market share, in terms of value. The demand for activated carbon for water treatment is driven by its ability to effectively reduce certain organic chemicals and chlorine in water, along with the reduction in quantity of lead in water. For air and gas treatment segment, the growing application of activated carbon in flue gas cleaning and refinery operations to recover a wide range of expensive process chemicals is primarily driving the market demand. 

Powdered and Granular Activated Carbon Will Drive the Market Demand

Activated carbon is classified into three major types – powdered activated carbon (PAC), granular activated carbon (GAC) and other activated carbon such as extruded activated carbon (EAC) or palletized activated carbon, beaded activated carbon, polymer activated carbon, activated carbon fibre and honeycomb activated carbon.

By 2024, Autumn Market Research projects that powdered and granular activated carbon segments will collectively account for about 94% of the overall market demand, in terms of volume. The demand for powdered activated carbon is driven by its unique pore structure and excellent adsorption properties. In comparison, favorable properties of granular activated carbon such as its high surface area which allows the accumulation of a large number of contaminant molecules is driving its demand across various applications, especially for water and air treatment, mercury removal operations, and industrial processes.

Coal-based Activated Carbon to be the Fastest Growing Segment

The market for activated carbon based on coal as raw material is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.4% over the forecast period (2019-2024). The demand for coal-based activated carbon is driven due to its high adsorption energy range, which is beneficial for applications in multiple domains such as air and water treatment, food and beverage, automotive, and pharmaceuticals.

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Global Activated Carbon Market – Key Players

Some of the major activated carbon participants include Kuraray Co., Ltd. (Calgon Carbon Corp.) Cabot Corp., Osaka Gas Co., Ltd., Ingevity Corp., Haycarb PLC, Donau Chemie AG, CarboTech AC GmbH, WestRock and Albemarle Corp.

Global Activated Carbon Market – Segmentation

By product type: Powdered, Granular, and Others

By phases: Liquid and Gas

By raw materials: Coal, Coconut Shell, and Others

Applications in various end-use industries: Water Treatment, Air and Gas Treatment, Food and Beverage, Pharmaceuticals, Automotive, Metal Recovery, and Others.

By region: North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America, and ROW.

Intended Audience for Activated Carbon Industry Report:

  • Activated Carbon Manufacturers
  • Distributors and Suppliers
  • Potential Investors
  • Regional and Global Associations
  • Government Organizations
  • Research and Consultancy Firms