Activated Carbon Market Research Report - Global Forecast till 2030

Activated Carbon Market Research Report: By Type (Powder Activated Carbon, Granular Activated Carbon, Extruded Activated Carbon, Others) Application (Water Purification, Air Purification, Food & Beverage, Industrial Chemicals, Metal Extraction, Pharmaceuticals, Automotive, Catalyst, Others) Forecast till 2030

ID: MRFR/CnM/1212-CR | 185 Pages | Published By Anshula Mandaokar on December 2021         

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Global Activated Carbon Market Overview


Activated Carbon Market Size was valued at USD 5.39 billion in 2021. The Activated Carbon market industry is projected to grow from USD 5.91 Billion in 2022 to USD 10.62 billion by 2030, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.61% during the forecast period (2022 - 2030). Stringent environmental regulations pertaining to mercury pollution, increasing demand for activated carbon in water treatment applications, and high demand in the pharmaceuticals and healthcare industry are driving the market growth.


Activated Carbon Market Overview
Source: Secondary Research, Primary Research, MRFR Database, and Analyst Review

Activated Carbon Market Trends




  • STRINGENT ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS PERTAINING TO MERCURY POLLUTION




Electricity is majorly generated in coal-fired power plants. Mercury is a potentially deadly neurotoxin; its emissions from coal-fired power stations is a major environmental concern due to the toxicity and persistence of mercury that accumulates in the waterways. These emissions contain elemental mercury (HgO), which resides for a long time in the atmosphere varying from 0.5 to 2 years, and impacts the aquatic ecosystem if disposed of in lakes or streams. Various environmental regulations such as Clean Water Act, The Industrial Emissions Directive, and Best Available Technology drive the use of activated carbon in mercury emissions control. For instance, the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) and the Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) regulations for reducing the hazardous air pollutants (Hg) from electricity generating units and industrial boilers. The Industrial Emissions Directive published by the Council of the European Union (EU) is another regulation pertaining to mercury emissions in the EU. This regulation is aimed at reducing the volume of allowable emissions of mercury and sulfur oxide (Sox) gases from industrial boilers. Furthermore, there have been traces of elemental mercury in natural gas, which leads to corrosion of aluminum alloy in cryogenic exchangers and subsequently leads to equipment failure. From both worker safety and environmental perspectives, the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set exposure regulations for inorganic mercury compounds and is also regulated by the Clean Air Act Amendments. As a result, various mercury control technologies have gained importance over the years, of which the activated carbon system is a widely used commercial air pollution control process. Activated carbon with high surface area, porosity, and low cost is primarily important for removing mercury from flue gases. Air filtration systems manufactured using activated carbon, based on agricultural wastes, such as corn cob, coconut shell, palm oil waste, and other bio-based waste, are cost-effective and efficient to adsorb mercury from the flue gas emissions.


Moreover, the benefits of installing the activated carbon injection system include the shortest construction lead time (12-18 months) and the low installation cost (USD 11/kW). Other technologies, such as electrostatic precipitators (ESP) and baghouses have longer lead times and higher costs. Flue gas desulfurization (FGD) has the highest average lead time, at 50 months, and the highest installation cost, at USD 228/kW. Thus, the stringent environmental regulations pertaining to mercury pollution are likely to drive the growth of the activated carbon market revenue.




  • INCREASING DEMAND FOR ACTIVATED CARBON IN WATER TREATMENT APPLICATIONS




Activated carbon is commonly used to adsorb natural organic compounds, taste and odor compounds, and synthetic organic chemicals from drinking water. It is an effective adsorbent because it is a highly porous material and provides a large surface area to which contaminants may adsorb. It can also be used for water softening. In addition, heavy metals, such as lead, can only be removed with a very specific kind of activated carbon water treatment, which is typically used only in residential point-of-use filters. Major manufacturing industries, such as chemicals, oil & gas, food & beverage, mining, and textiles, generate a large amount of wastewater daily. This water is loaded with several contaminants, such as non-biodegradable chemicals, organic matter, and traces of metals and oxides. This necessitates the need for treating the effluent water because, if not treated, the contaminated water may cause gastrointestinal problems, diarrhea, nausea, dehydration, and even death.


In the water treatment process, either powdered or granular activated carbon is used, depending upon the specific application and the suspension or fixed bed process. In recent years, the demand for activated carbon in the treatment of drinking water, groundwater restoration, and service water treatment is increasing significantly on account of its excellent adsorption properties. Groundwater is polluted largely due to the presence of organic compounds and chlorinated hydrocarbons originating from the agrochemicals, such as herbicides, pesticides, and insecticides, which are extensively used in the agricultural industry. The use of activated carbon in water treatment applications helps remove the harmful substances from water—even the minute traces. Moreover, the product is being increasingly used in wastewater treatment applications, such as systematic treatment of individual effluent streams and the removal of toxic substances to bacteria in the biological wastewater treatment. In addition, activated carbon poses environmental and economic advantages as the granular activated carbon used in the adsorber can be thermally reactivated and reused. Thus, increasing demand for activated carbon in water treatment applications is likely to drive the growth of the activated carbon market revenue.


Activated Carbon Market Segment Insights


Activated Carbon Type Insights


The activated carbon market segmentation, based on type, includes powdered activated, carbon, granular activated carbon, extruded activated carbon, and others. The powdered activated carbon segment held the majority share in 2021 contributing to around ~53-55% with respect to the activated carbon market revenue. This is primarily owing to the rising demand for wastewater treatment applications across the globe. For instance, powdered activated carbon has a relatively smaller particle size than other types, which provides it with a larger surface-to-volume ratio and hence better adsorption ability. It is widely used for the de-chlorination of water, mercury removal from power plant emissions, removal of organic contaminants from wastewater, drinking water treatment, groundwater remediation, and taste and odor removal from water used in the food & beverage industry.


September 2020: Cabot Norit Americas, Inc. and ADA Carbon Solution, LLC have entered 15 years activated carbon supply agreement. Under this agreement, ADA will manufacture and supply Cabot’s portfolio of lignite-based activated carbon products to Cabot Norit.


Activated Carbon Application Insights


The activated carbon market segmentation, based on application, includes water purification, air purification, food and beverage, industrial chemicals, metal extraction, pharmaceuticals, automotive, catalyst, and others. The water purification segment dominated the market in 2021 and air purification segment is projected to be the faster-growing segment during the forecast period, 2022-2030. This is due to the increase in population and pollution, the demand for safe potable drinking water is rising, which is projected to fuel the demand for graphene. According to the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation, at least 1.8 billion people worldwide drink contaminated water. Also, Major manufacturing industries, such as chemicals, oil & gas, food & beverage, mining, and textiles, generate a large amount of wastewater daily. This water is loaded with several contaminants, such as non-biodegradable chemicals, organic matter, and traces of metals and oxides. This necessitates the need for treating the effluent water because, if not treated, the contaminated water may cause gastrointestinal problems, diarrhea, nausea, dehydration, and even death. Hence, rising applications of activated carbon in water purification will positively impact market growth.


March 2022: One Equity Partners acquired Norit Activated Carbon from corporate parent Cabot Corporation. Boston-based Norit manufactures activated carbon products used for purification needs in sectors including renewable natural gas, food and beverage, chemicals, automotive and pharmaceuticals. This approval has further broadened the growth opportunity for the activated carbon industry.


Figure 2: Activated Carbon Market, by Application, 2021 & 2030 (USD Billion)
Activated Carbon Market, by Application, 2021 & 2030
Source: Secondary Research, Primary Research, MRFR Database and Analyst Review


Activated Carbon Regional Insights


By Region, the study segments the market into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Middle East & Africa. Asia-Pacific activated carbon market accounted for USD 2.60 billion in 2021 and is expected to exhibit an 7.39% CAGR during the study period. This is attributed to the robust growth of the chemicals, food & beverage, and energy industries in China, India, and Indonesia is fueling the demand for activated carbon.


Further, the major countries studied are: The U.S, Canada, Germany, France, UK, Italy, Spain, China, Japan, India, Australia, South Korea, and Brazil.


Figure 3: ACTIVATED CARBON MARKET SHARE BY REGION 2021 (%)
ACTIVATED CARBON MARKET SHARE BY REGION 2021
Source: Secondary Research, Primary Research, MRFR Database and Analyst Review


North America activated carbon market accounts for the second-largest market share due to The rising pressure from the EPA and the US government over the industries to reduce the mercury emissions is likely to boost the demand for activated carbon in the region. In addition, the availability of advanced technologies and high demand for water purification in the US industrial sector are favoring the regional market growth. Further, the USA activated carbon market held the largest market share, and was the fastest growing market in the region


The Europe Activated Carbon Market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.91% from 2022 to 2030. This is due to stringent government regulations related to the toxic gases emissions and industrial water reuse gaining momentum are the key drivers of the regional market. Moreover, Germany activated carbon market held the largest market share, and was the fastest growing market in the European region.


Activated Carbon Key Market Players & Competitive Insights


The activated carbon market is characterized by the presence of , regional, and local players. The market is highly consolidated, with all the players competing to gain significant market share. The key market players of activated carbon compete based on cost, product quality, availability of raw materials, and durability of the product. They are engaged in expanding their production capacity and investing in R&D activities to gain an edge over competitors. Furthermore, the growing popularity of activated carbon in smart electronics and electric vehicles is expected to offer lucrative opportunities to manufacturers in the coming years. However, scarcity of raw materials is expected to hinder the growth of the market studied significantly.


Additionally, the adoption of various strategies by activated carbon industry such as expansion, R&D, agreements, acquisitions, collaborations, and investments is expected to help these players to gain maximum revenue and long-term growth during the review period. The key participants in the activated carbon market are Osaka Gas Chemicals Co., Ltd, Kuraray Co., Ltd, Haycarb (Pvt) Ltd, Kureha Corporation, Donau Carbon GmbH, DESOTEC Activated Carbon, Oxbow Activated Carbon, Silcarbon Aktivkohle GmbH, Karbonous Inc, and Lenntech BV.


Osaka Gas Chemicals Co., Ltd (Osaka) is a specialty chemicals company that manufactures and sells materials and solutions based on coal chemistry and medical technologies. It operates through various segments, namely activated carbon and its application products, carbon fiber and its application products, fine materials, resin additives, battery materials, preservatives, and processing. Under the activated carbon and its application products segment, it offers activated carbon that is used in the purification processes in food, alcohol and pharmaceutical manufacturing, air purifiers, and water filters.


Also, Kuraray Co., Ltd (Kuraray) manufactures and sells chemicals, fibers, and textiles. The company operates through vinyl acetate, isoprene, functional materials, fibers and textiles, trading, and others segments. Under the functional materials segment, it manufactures activated carbon that finds application in water purification and wastewater treatment. It has six manufacturing sites and two R&D bases in Japan.


List of the Key Companies in the Activated Carbon Market Includes



Activated Carbon Industry Developments


October 2022: Kuraray Co., Ltd. announced that Belgium-based Chemviron S.A., which is the European base of its U.S.-based subsidiary Calgon Carbon Corporation, finished expanding and running test operations of the reactivated carbon production facilities at its Feluy Plant and has commenced full-scale operations.


February 2020: Desotec announced the opening of its new reactivation plant in Roeselare, Belgium, with an aim to expand its capacity of recycled spent activated carbon by 70%. The opening of the plant will also strengthen the company’s leading position in Europe for closed-loop mobile purification services.


Activated Carbon Market Segmentation


Activated Carbon Type Outlook




  • Powdered Activated Carbon




  • Granular Activated Carbon




  • Extruded Activated Carbon




  • Others




Activated Carbon Application Outlook




  • Water Purification




  • Air Purification




  • Food and Beverage




  • Industrial Chemicals




  • Metal Extraction




  • Pharmaceuticals




  • Automotive




  • Catalyst




  • Others




Activated Carbon Regional Outlook



  • North America

    • US


    • Canada





  • Europe


    • Germany




    • France




    • UK




    • Italy




    • Spain




    • Rest of Europe







  • Asia-Pacific




    • China




    • Japan




    • India




    • Australia




    • South Korea




    • Australia




    • Rest of Asia-Pacific






  • Latin America




    • Mexico




    • Brazil




    • Argentina




    • Rest of Latin America






  • Middle East & Africa




    • GCC




    • South Africa




    • Rest Of Middle East & Africa







Report Scope:

Report Attribute/Metric Details
Market Size 2021 USD 5.39 billion
Market Size 2022 USD 5.91 billion
Market Size 2030 USD 10.62 billion
Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) 7.61% (2022-2030)
Base Year 2021
Forecast Period 2022-2030
Historical Data 2018 & 2020
Forecast Units Value (USD Billion)
Report Coverage Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, and Trends
Segments Covered Type, Application, and Region
Geographies Covered North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America and Middle East & Africa
Countries Covered The U.S, Canada, Germany, France, UK, Italy, Spain, China, Japan, India, Australia, South Korea, and Brazil
Key Companies Profiled Osaka Gas Chemicals Co., Ltd, Kuraray Co., Ltd, Haycarb (Pvt) Ltd, Kureha Corporation, Donau Carbon GmbH, DESOTEC Activated Carbon, Oxbow Activated Carbon, Silcarbon Aktivkohle GmbH, Karbonous Inc, and Lenntech BV
Key Market Opportunities Increasing demand for reactivated carbon Increasing demand for reactivated carbon
Key Market Dynamics Stringent Environmental Regulations Pertaining to Mercury Pollution Increasing Demand for Activated Carbon in Water Treatment Applications High demand in the pharmaceuticals and Healthcare industry


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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) :

Activated Carbon Market Size is projected to reach USD 5.91 Billion in 2022 to USD 10.62 billion by 2030

The advanced technologies and high demand for water purification in the US industrial sector are favoring the regional market growth.

Global Activated Carbon Market would register a growth of 7.16%

The Europe Activated Carbon Market would enjoy the upper hand in the Activated Carbon Market.

Osaka Gas Chemicals Co., Ltd, Kuraray Co., Ltd, Haycarb (Pvt) Ltd, Kureha Corporation, Donau Carbon GmbH, DESOTEC Activated Carbon, Oxbow Activated Carbon, Silcarbon Aktivkohle GmbH, Karbonous Inc, and Lenntech BV

The powdered activated carbon segment held the majority share in 2021