The global charcoal market is expected to grow significantly over the projected period on account of rising demand for the product in recreational cooking and metal production, building & construction, healthcare, industrial filter, and pharmaceutical applications. Charcoal acts as a substitute fuel for coal in recreational cooking. Also, the growing adoption of barbeque style in restaurant cooking is expected to drive the demand for charcoal.
In metal production, charcoal can burn up to 370 Degrees Celsius with relatively low carbon dioxide emissions. In steel and iron, charcoal is used as a metallurgical fuel owing to its high heating capacity. With the growing building & construction industry in emerging economies such as India and China, the demand for iron and steel grow, which is likely to positively affect the charcoal market growth. Activated charcoal, when mixed with cement, enhances its comprehensive strength and acts as a binder in lightweight concrete. Additionally, activated charcoal reduces the presence of pores in conventional concrete, thereby increasing the concrete performance. The growing demand for cement from the construction industry, especially in the Asia Pacific, is expected to fuel the market growth of charcoal.
Activated charcoal acts as a detoxifying agent in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. The product purifies blood, reduces indigestion, and boosts antifungal protection. Charcoal powder can be readily used in case of poisoning, drug, and alcohol overdoses as it is a great adsorbent. The product also helps in getting rid of harmful toxins in the human body. With growing research in the medical field to use charcoal in healthcare applications, the demand for the product is likely to grow in the years to come.
Increasing demand for potable drinking water and growing consumer awareness about water wastage is anticipated to drive the demand for activated charcoal in the coming years. Water purifiers with activated charcoal filters are witnessing high demand on account of their good adsorbent properties. Activated charcoal filters remove toxins such as organic volatile compounds and chlorine from water. Moreover, activated charcoal can add minerals such as iron, magnesium, and calcium in the water to improve its quality.
Charcoal is affordable and used as a substitute for coal as a cooking fuel, especially African countries. Wood is the major raw material used for charcoal production. Sawdust, rice husk, seed shell, coconut shell, and other hard miscellaneous wood are the other raw materials used for the production of charcoal. Increasing demand for charcoal has caused an increase in deforestation. Rising government regulations on deforestation and growing consumer awareness about the importance of eco-friendly environments are anticipated to slow down the growth of the charcoal market.
Charcoal is available in different forms such as lump charcoal, charcoal briquettes, and flavored briquettes. As of 2019, lump charcoal dominated the market, owing to its high calorific value. Lump charcoal burns at a higher temperature, around 12000F and quicker than briquettes, It produces less ash compared to other types of charcoal. Briquettes burn at around 800-10000F depending on the raw materials used. Charcoal briquettes are used in applications such as dehumidifier, keeping the root water fresh and remove moisture and odor from closets. These diverse applications of charcoal are expected to trigger the demand for the product.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Zambia, charcoal producers, and small-scale producers are responsible for large-scale deforestation in the country. Nigeria lost 1,13,948 hectares of its forest in 2018 due to deforestation. Countries with the highest deforestation rates due to charcoal production include South Africa, Central America, South America, and Asia. Government regulations and policies to monitor unsustainable charcoal production are likely to restrain the growth market.
The Asia Pacific dominated the charcoal market globally in 2018 with China being the largest charcoal producer. Africa is expected to be the major market for charcoal as a majority of its population relies on charcoal for cooking fuel. While Indonesia, China, Poland, Ukraine, Vietnam, the Philippines, Mexico, and the Netherlands are the top exporters; Japan, Germany, South Korea, the U.S., and Saudi Arabia remain the top importers of charcoal. Timber Charcoal Company Co. LLC, GRYFSKAND, Royal Oak, Kingsford Products Company, and Duraflame Inc. are some of the major players operating the global charcoal industry.
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