Global activated carbon market size was estimated at USD 2.23 billion in 2013. Stringent government regulations for mercury removal in power plants are anticipated to remain a key driver for market growth over the next five years. Environment Protection Agency (EPA) issued the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard, which aims at removal of mercury, acid gas and other metal emissions from coal & oil powered plants. Rapid industrialization coupled with increasing government focus on environmental protection is expected to fuel industry growth over the forecast period.
It is used for various environment applications such as air purification, spill cleanup, drinking water filtration and groundwater remediation owing to excellent adsorption properties. Rising consumer awareness coupled with higher living standards in emerging economies is expected to drive market demand over the next five years. Activated carbon prices witnessed steady growth from 2007 to 2012 and remained relatively high during 2013 and are expected to rise over the next five years
Increasing concerns regarding drinking water contamination and shift in trend towards healthy lifestyle coupled with increasing government spending is anticipated to drive demand over the next five years.
Increasing application scope in food & beverage industry for applications such as decolorization and deodorization of sugar and sweeteners is expected to propel demand. Growing food & beverage industry in emerging economies of Asia Pacific such as China, India, Japan, Vietnam and Thailand are projected to complement growth in the near future.
North America activated carbon market revenue by product, 2012-2020, (USD Million)
Powdered activated carbon (PAC) was the largest product segment and accounted for over USD 1.1 billion in 2013. EPA Mercury and Air Toxics Standard along with the cement and industrial boiler mercury control standards accompanying it are together expected to drive the activated carbon market.
Granular form (GAC) is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.6% from 2014 to 2020 owing to increasing application scope such as absorption of gases and vapors, deodorization and separation of components of flow system. They are widely preferred owing to properties such as hydraulic head, balance of size and surface area.
Other forms include extruded, bead activated, impregnated and polymer coated. They are expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.1% from 2014 to 2020 on account of end-use application such as gas phase, fluidized bed, hemoperfusion and air pollution control.
Liquid phase was leading application accounting for over 55% of the volume share in 2013. Increasing environmental remediation applications coupled with trace contaminants removal is expected to drive demand in the near future. It is widely used in removing contaminants from ground water. Increasing awareness regarding water contamination is expected to drive demand for this application segment.
Gas phase application segment is projected to grow significantly owing to increasing demand from end-use industries such as chemical and food & beverage. It is widely used in aforementioned industries for deodorization and for converting ozone to oxygen by catalytic action. The segment is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.8% from 2014 to 2020.
Air purification was leading end-use segment accounting for over 36% of the volume share in 2013. Increasing environmental pollution due to emission from vehicle and industries is projected to fuel air purification segment. Rising awareness coupled with government regulations is further expected to drive activated carbon industry.
Water treatment applications are projected to grow at a CAGR of 11.6% from 2014 to 2020. Water treatment include municipal treatment, point-of-use water filters, process water treatment in beverage production, groundwater remediation, semiconductor manufacture and treatment of landfill lacheate.
Food & beverage application is expected to grow at a rate of 6.5% over the next five years. Growing food & beverage industry in emerging economies of Asia Pacific such as China, India, Thailand and Indonesia is anticipated to drive market growth. Pharmaceutical applications include curing overdoses and poisonings following oral ingestion. Rising medical facilities coupled with increasing per capita income is anticipated to drive demand.
Asia Pacific was the largest market and accounted for USD 830.8 million in 2013. Water purification was the largest application for Asia Pacific owing to rapid development coupled with population expansion in the region. Growing industrial sector in China, Japan and India is expected to drive demand over the next five years.
North America activated carbon market accounted for over 27% of global volume in 2013. Stringent government regulation to reduce emissions of mercury is expected to drive market growth in the region. Rising awareness coupled with huge exports from U.S. to Asia Pacific region is anticipated to foster demand in the region. .
Europe is expected to witness significant growth rate over the next five years owing to government directives coupled with growing water purification industry. Air purification application growth in the region is expected to compliment demand in the region.
Companies dominating global market share include ADA-ES Inc., Kureha Corporation, Haycarb PLC, Meadwestvaco Corporation, Carbotech, Calgon Carbon Corporation, Carbon resources LLC, Cabot Corporation and Carbon Activated Corporation. Other industry players include Clarimex Group, Jacobi carbons AB, Kurary Co. Ltd. and Siemens Water Technologies Corp.