Activated Carbon Market Size By Application (Liquid Phase, Gas Phase), By Product (Granular Activated Carbon (GAC), Powdered Activated Carbon (PAC)), By End-use (Food & Beverages, Water Treatment, Air Purification , Pharmaceutical & Medical, Automotive) Competitive Analysis & Forecast, 2012 – 2020
Global activated carbon market size is expected to reach 2.96 million tons by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 11.7% from 2014 to 2020. Increase in water and waste water treatment units is anticipated to drive activated carbon market growth over the forecast period.
Increasing water prices and regulatory pressure to recycle are expected to benefit the overall growth. The escalating use of water for industrial processes has spurred the need for water and wastewater treatments, boosting water and wastewater treatment processes demand. Activated carbon price grew steadily up to 2012, while seeing high growth in 2013, set to continue over the forecast period.
Growing air filtration demand across the last decade is expected to benefit activated carbon market growth. Air filtration revenue in 2010 was over USD 6,300 million and reached over USD 7,000 million in 2013. Fast growing industries in emerging markets such as China, India, Mexico, Brazil, South East Asia, and Russia have compelled several industrial plants to incorporate their own water treatment facilities.
For the past decade, China reported a surge in industrialization and urbanization. This led to direct increase in volume of treated waste water. With Central Government’s financial programs, China has invested over USD 4.5 billion in improving the clean water supply. In 2012, the volume of treated waste water was 114,640 kilo tons.
Favorable regulatory norms, such as Clean Air Mercury Rule, from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to reduce mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants are expected to favor activated carbon demand in air filtration. These activated carbons are said to be more effective than any other compounds and help to reduce the foul-smelling compounds’ emission too. This factor is anticipated to increase demand for this product in indoor air regulatory systems.
Scarcity in raw materials which include coconut shell, coal and wood pulp driven by increasing demand is likely to result in higher prices quoted by the major raw material suppliers. This factor is anticipated to hamper profitability.
North America activated carbon market size, by product, 2012-2020 (Kilo Tons)
Powdered activated carbon (PAC) was largely consumed with an estimated revenue generation of over USD 1.1 billion in 2013. Increasing application in cement industry coupled with regulatory norms from EPA Mercury & Air Toxic Standard for mercury control standards is anticipated to drive powdered products demand.
Granular products (GAC) accounted for over 35% of the total volume in 2013 and are likely to witness moderate gains at an estimated CAGR of over 10% up to 2020. Factors such as better surface area, size balance and hydraulic head make it widely preferred in end-use industries. Their application includes gas & vapor absorption and deodorization & components separation in flow system.
Liquid phase was the dominant application with a market valuation of approximately USD 1.13 billion in 2013. Activated carbon is widely used in removing trace contaminants in ground water. Increasing awareness towards health concerns arising from water contamination is anticipated to drive demand.
Gas phase application accounted for more than 45% of the total volume in 2013. It is anticipated to witness highest gains of over 12% up to 2020 owing to increasing application scope in end-use industries such as food & beverage and chemical. It is majorly used in these aforementioned industries for ozone conversion to oxygen from catalytic reaction and deodorization.
Water treatment was the leading end-use segment for activated carbon marker with revenue generation estimated at over USD 900 million in 2013. Standards mandating companies to adopt environment friendly and efficient water disposal techniques are presumed to further aid demand.
Air purification accounted for more than 35% of the total volume in 2013 and is likely to gain significant growth rates of over 13% up to 2020. Growing demand from both domestic and commercial applications can be attributed to rising demand for air-conditioners and air-filters. Growing health concerns regarding respiratory diseases and rising awareness are other key factors capable of positively influencing the activated carbon industry.
Asia Pacific activated carbon market was the dominant region with revenue generation estimated at over USD 700 million in 2013. Growing automobile demand, rising population, increasing disposable income and government initiatives to reduce industrial impact on the environment are likely to favor growth in this region. Economies such as China, India and Japan are presumed to lead the regional demand.
Europe activated carbon industry accounted for over 15% of the global volume in 2013 and is anticipated to witness gains of over 10% from 2014 to 2020. Growing government norms to curb pollution coupled with growth in water treatment industry in Germany and UK is anticipated to support activated carbon demand.
Competitive Market Share
The global activated carbon market share is highly concentrated and the top three business players accounted for over 70% of the total revenue in 2013. Calgon Carbon Corporation dominated the industry accounted for over 25% of the total demand.
Key companies include Cabot Corporation, MeadWestvaco Corporation, Haycarb PLC, Kureha Corp, ADA-ES Inc., Carbon Resources LLC and Kuraray Co. Other prominent companies include Siemens Water Technologies, Jacobi Carbons and Calrimex Group.