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Activated Carbon Market Overview
The activated carbon market has been on the forefront of witnessing recent advancements in reactivation service techniques and their integration to the global supply lines of activated carbons. Furthermore, these have affected the demand-supply dynamics of these solids. The technological progressions and product development have led to the growing application of reactivation of pre-used activated carbons. Several companies have developed these technologies and ventured into the reactivation business. They are providing facilities such as on-site reactivation services. This scenario has prompted many companies to recycle the previously and defunct carbon. These factors are expected to assist the market to find traction in novel application areas.
Activated carbon, also known as activated charcoal, is a form of processed carbon. This enables the resultant solid to exhibit small and low-volume pores that increase the surface area for adsorption or chemical reactions. It is primarily used for purification of gases and liquids in food and beverage processing, chemical industries, and water treatment. In the following report, the activated carbon market is segmented on the basis of product, end use, and region.
Based on product type, the activated carbon market is categorized into powdered activated carbon, granular activated carbon, and others. The others category refers to the remaining types of activated charcoal such as pelletized activated carbon. Demand for powdered activated carbon in industrial applications such as decolorization and deodorization operations in pharmaceutical industry is expected to act as a propellant to the market growth during the forecast period.
From the perspective of end use, the activated carbon market is classified into water treatment, food and beverage processing, industrial, pharmaceutical and medical, automotive, and air purification. The application of these solids in water treatment held a significant share in the global market. The usage of activated charcoal for water purification purposes is the most cost-efficient point-of-use (POU) method in water purification devices. Primarily, these solids are used in municipal wastewater treatment and differentiated industrial processes. Some of the application areas of these solids include water treatment in aquariums, groundwater remediation, and potable water. Additionally, other application areas of these products are industrial processes such as production of beverages, and energy in power plants.
Based on region, the activated carbon market is categorized into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East and Africa. Globally, Asia-Pacific is expected to occupy a significant share in the market during the forecast period. Furthermore, government regulations, presence of large consumption base, and significant growth of various end-use industries such as water treatment and manufacturing are expected to drive the market demand in the region. The industrial growth in emerging clusters across the globe such as Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), North African countries, and Central and Eastern European countries is expected to offer a wide consumption base for these solids in the forthcoming period.
Activated Carbon Market Dynamics
The key drivers in the activated carbon market include international regulations governing discharge of mercury from industries, and growing demand for water treatment chemicals. These are expected to necessitate adoption of these solids to reduce discharge and ensure retention of impurities.
The regulatory agencies in various parts of the world have issued directives aimed at curbing the mercury emissions by a wide array of industries including petrochemical complexes such as refineries and plants. These include regulations, such as Mercury and Air Toxic Standard (MATS) issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and ratified by the Minamata Convention in European Union, which have been instrumental in curbing emissions of mercury and acidic gases from coal-based and other power plants. The application of this carbon helps in efficiently controlling these emissions. Thus, the formulation and implementation of such regulations are anticipated to benefit the activated carbon market by helping in increasing potential demand for these solids in the future.
The serious health risks and hazards associated with oral consumption of impure water are expected to act as catalyst for market demand for these solids. Several countries including China and India are heavily investing in water purification plants, which are expected to complement the growth of the activated carbon market during the forecast period.
The threat of adoption of substitutes such as silica gel and supersand is offering stiff competition to the demand dynamics of activated carbons. Additional factors such as low availability of raw materials such as phenolic resins, coconut shell charcoal, and wood charcoal (thereby causing volatile price trends), and presence of expensive derivatives of these solids are expected to inhibit adoption of these solids, and thereby, constrain the market growth in the future.
Activated Carbon Market Competitive Landscape
Some of the major competitors in the global activated carbon market include ADA-ES Inc., Haycarb PLC, Kureha Corporation, Calgon Carbon Corporation, Jacobi Carbons AB, MeadWestvaco Corporation, Carbon Activated Corporation, Clarinex Group, Cabot Corporation, Carbon Resources LLC, and Kuraray Co. Ltd.
The study provides the historical as well the forecast market size data for various countries including the U.S., Canada, Germany, U.K., France, Italy, Spain, China, Japan, India, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa.