Activated Carbon Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Type (Powdered, Granular)
By Application (Liquid Phase, Gas Phase) By End Use (Water Treatment, Air Purification), By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2022 — 2030
The global activated carbon market size was valued at USD 3.44 billion in 2021 and is anticipated to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.9% from 2022 to 2030. The main growth driver is predicted to be increased demand for water treatment and sewage treatment applications. The presence of a significant number of small pores on the surface of activated carbon, also known as activated charcoal, distinguishes it. The pores increase the surface area of the element, which increases its adsorption capacity. It is frequently utilized in potable water filtration and sewage treatment plants, among other applications.
Manufacturing technical developments are projected to boost growth even more. The key raw material used for manufacturing the product is a coconut shell, resin, wood, and viscose rayon. When a huge quantity of raw material is used in the manufacturing process, the carbon yield is high. The large supply-demand mismatch has caused raw material prices to skyrocket.
The pandemic of COVID-19 has hit every major sector. The major economies of the world had to impose lockdowns and restrictions to stop the spread of the virus. These steps had negative effects on all major economies. All industries and manufacturing units had shut down, which negatively impacted the supply chain. Key countries, including China, Germany, India, and Canada, witnessed an unfavorable effect on the demand for the product. However, the gradual opening up of various industries has led to stable growth in demand in the worldwide market. The purity of the product is largely dependent on the raw materials used. The GAC produced from wood contains calcium, whereas the ones manufactured from coal contain iron.
In addition, coconut-based contains 2-4% ash, and wood has 3-6% ash, bituminous & anthracite has 5-15%, whereas lignite has 25-30% ash content. Wood-based have a high proportion of meso and macropores in comparison to coal and coconut shell products. For the end-use industry, the water treatment industry dominated other industries, with a revenue share of 42.82%. This can be attributed to activated carbon’s capacity to remove particulate and dissolved pollutants. It also removes contaminants and chlorine from water. It is used to purify the air to remove hazardous gases, smells, and harmful dust particles in greenhouses and manufacturing plants. The product can also be used in the food and beverage processing, pharmaceutical and medical, and automotive industries.
Based on product type, the powdered activated carbon (PAC) market dominated the segment. It was valued at USD 2,099.62 million in 2021 registering, a CAGR of 3.2% by 2030. PAC possesses high adsorption capacity, can fulfill broad treatment objectives and can remove a range of particulates. Companies such as Cabot Corporation doubled their activated carbon production capacity in Canada in 2014 to meet the growing demand of PAC. The company declared an addition of 35 million lbs/year PAC production capacity to sufficiently meet the high demand for the product from the coal-fired utility industry for mercury removal.
The market worth of granular activated carbon (GAC) was USD 1,151.47 million in 2021. This can be attributed to its regenerating. GAC is heavily used in air treatment and municipal water treatment plants. The key raw material used in the manufacturing of GAC is coal and coconut shell charcoal.
Growing demand for water treatment techniques resulting from standards & regulations mandating industries to adopt these methods is a critical factor that is expected to aid the market. Governments and agencies have issued such standards to safeguard the environment. These initiatives are presumed to aid the market during the forecast period. Gas-phase majorly includes air purification. Companies such as Kuraray Corporation and key formulators of the product for gas-phase applications. Within the air purification industry, activated carbon is broadly utilized in gas masks and air conditioners, among others. In gas-phase application, the product is also used for gas separation, solvent recovery, and more. Gas-phase application is the fastest growing form which is anticipated to reach USD 24.96 billion by 2030 in terms of revenue and lead the market during the forecast period.
The liquid phase is the second-largest revenue contributor globally. The market is driven by growing environmental concerns and regulations mandating companies to adopt environmentally friendly water treatment techniques. companies such as Evoqua Water Technologies offer granular activated carbon for liquid phase applications, including water treatment and more, under the brand AquaCarb and Westates.
Water treatment technology is gaining utilization across the globe. Various companies globally are innovating & developing new technologies for water treatment recycling. Standards mandating companies to adopt efficient water disposal techniques and utilize environment-friendly compounds are presumed to further aid the market. Air purification end-use accounted for the second-largest revenue contributor globally in 2021. This is attributable to the rising demand from both domestic and commercial applications for air-conditioners and air-filters. Technological advancements coupled with rapidly rising disposable income and increasing affordability to opt for fresher air are presumed to aid the market during the forecast period.
Rising adsorbent applications in the food & beverage and processing industry are expected to aid the market. Activated carbon has various advantages such as easy removal of bad tastes, cost-effective, quick, and complete removal of unpleasant odors providing long-term color stability. These advantages make activated carbon useful in the food and beverage industries.
Asia Pacific region dominated the market with a revenue share of 50% in 2021. This is because Asia Pacific is a good market for the procurement of coconut shells and coconut shell-based AC. Activated carbon is typically used for water purification and gold mining applications in the region. Indian dry coconuts are preferred over the coconuts of other countries in the Asia Pacific because they have better oil content. Several major market participants, including Jacobi Carbons and Haycarb, source coconut shells from Asian countries, such as Sri Lanka, Indonesia, the Philippines, and India.
North America is the second-largest market after the Asia Pacific. Growing automobile demand in the region, a rise in the geriatric population, and increasing environmental concerns are projected to be the key factors positively impacting the market. PAC applications are expected to witness a brisk rise, while gas phase applications are presumed to witness a similar trend.