Global activated carbon market is expected to experience considerable growth over the forecast period owing to increasing application in major end-use industries including pharmaceuticals, water treatment, and food & beverages processing. Activated carbon is a platform chemical, and is formed by carbonaceous materials including bamboo, sawdust, wood chips, coconut shells, coal, and lignite. Powdered activated carbon is the derivative product of activated carbon, which finds application in mercury removal and drinking water treatment. Growing requirement of mercury removal in coal fired plants is expected to be the major factor driving the global activated carbon market over the next six years. US Environmental Protected Agency (EPA) has set the basic standard for mercury and air toxicity. Now industrial manufacturers have to upgrade their coal plants according to the regulation by injecting activated carbon to remove mercury from flue gases. This change in regulation is expected to drive the global activated carbon market in this region over the next six years. Need to improve quality of water for domestic purpose is likely to propel activated carbon market over the foreseeable period. Granular activated carbon (GAC) is another by product of activated carbon, which finds application in gas purification. Increasing environmental concern over air pollution coupled with need to filter gas released from coal plants is anticipated to have positive impact on activated carbon market over the forecast period.
Activated carbon is used in liquid, vapor, and gas treatment, and is also effective in removing chlorine from water making it consumable for further use. Activated carbon also finds application in manufacturing medical equipment such as gas masks to filter out chlorine gas. Powdered activated carbon was the leading market in 2012, and the market is expected to continue over the forecast period owing to increasing use in air purification. GAC market is expected to experience considerable growth over the next six years. Increasing environmental issues to reduce emission of acid gases, mercury, and other air pollutants from coal plant, clinker cement plants, and solid waste incinerators is expected to be the factor driving the market over the forecast period. Gold recovery, de-colorization of sugar, catalytic process, deodorization of wines and fruit juice, automotive transistors, and production of fine chemicals are other applications of activated carbon. Rapid industrialization growth across the globe is expected to drive the global activated carbon market over the foreseeable period. Shortage of raw materials including coconut shell, wood, and sawdust is likely to hinder the market growth over the forecast period.
Asia Pacific has been dominating the global market over the recent past, and the trend is expected to continue over the next six years. China was the leading exporter among other nations in 2012. Growing water purification market in India, Thailand, and China owing to increasing population is anticipated to have positive impact on activated carbon market over the foreseeable period. In addition, growing automotive market in China is likely to drive activated carbon market in Asia Pacific region. U.S. accounts for largest market of activated carbon. Growing pharmaceutical industry in North America is expected to influence activated carbon market over the forecast period. Europe activated carbon market is expected to experience significant growth over the next six years on account of increasing beverage industry in Germany.
Global activated carbon market is highly consolidated by top players. High coconut shell production in SriLanka which is important raw material for activated carbon is expected to create an opportunity for the market players in Asia Pacific. Some of the major companies operating in global market include Cabot Corporation, Calgon Carbon Corporation, Carbon Resources LLC, CarboTech and Haycarb PLC, and MeadWestvaco Corporation among other.
Research Support Specialist, USA