Activated Carbon Market Size Report | Growth & Analysis 2028

Activated Carbon Market Forecast to 2028 - Global Analysis by Type (Granular/Extruded, Powdered, Honeycombs, Impregnated, and Reactivated) and Application (Gas & Air, Automotive, Catalyst, Chemicals, Food & Beverage, Mining, Pharmaceuticals, Water Treatment, and Others)

Publication Month : May 2023

  • Report Code : TIPTE100000777
  • Category : Chemicals and Materials
  • Status : Published
  • No. of Pages : 243
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[Research Report] The activated carbon market size is expected to grow from US$ 3,845.46 million in 2022 to US$ 6,081.05 million by 2028; it is estimated to record a CAGR of 8.2% from 2023 to 2028. 

Market Insights and Analyst View:

Activated carbon is defined as microporous carbonaceous material derived from coal, peat, bituminous, lignite, peat, wood, or coconut shell, among others, through two stage chemical activation process. It is manufactured in distinct forms to serve specific applications of various end use industries such as air & gas purification, wastewater treatment, chemicals, and food & beverages, among others. The available forms of activated carbon include powder, pellets, extrudates, granules, honeycomb-structure, impregnated, and reactivated. Granular form of activated carbons are widely used in water treatment plants, whereas powdered activated carbon is utilized in food & beverage industry for various applications such as purification and refining. The high adsorptive capacities of activated carbon makes it suitable option for extraction gold from gold-cyanide mixture.

Growth Drivers and Challenges:

Many countries in the world are adopting a circular economy for sustainability. Urban wastewater treatment plants that integrate resource recovery and energy production processes with clean water production contribute significantly to the sustainable development of any country. Over the past two decades, the demand for wastewater treatment has increased due to the trend of recovering water from energy generation processes. A report published by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs in 2022 sheds light on the rising interdependency of water and energy generation, with the increasing demand for each of these resources in many regions due to factors such as growing population and climate change. According to the current policies scenario of the International Energy Agency, energy consumption is projected to increase by 50% by 2035, in turn, boosting water consumption of the energy sector by 85%. According to the United Nations World Water Development Report (2018), global water demand is projected to rise by ~33% by 2050. Therefore, governments worldwide are taking initiatives for encouraging the adoption of sustainable solutions to ensure water security worldwide. Governments of the US, Germany Thailand, the Philippines, China, and India have commenced programs and initiatives to support wastewater treatment and circular economy through statutory or legislative authorities. Different government policies and initiatives to promote wastewater management are projected to drive the activated carbon market growth, as this material is widely used in the tertiary stage of wastewater treatment. However, the frequent price fluctuations in primary raw material of activated carbon is expected to restrain the market. Coal based activated carbon is one of the most commonly used type of activated carbon utilized in all end user industries. Coal is obtained through mining and then transported to consumers. The transportation costs add to the delivered price of coal. Most coal is transported in truck, barge, train, or combination of all these modes. All the transportation modes use diesel fuel which is subject to prices changes. Increase in diesel and oil fuel prices significantly affects the transportation cost, subsequently leading to a change in cost of coal.

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Activated Carbon Market: Strategic Insights

Market Size Value inUS$ 3,845.46 million in 2022
Market Size Value byUS$ 6,081.05 million by 2028
Growth rateCAGR of 8.2% from 2023 to 2028
Forecast Period2023-2028
Base Year2022
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Report Segmentation and Scope:

The “Global Activated Carbon Market” is segmented based on type, application, and geography. Based on type, the activated carbon market is segmented into granular/extruded, powdered, honeycombs, impregnated, and reactivated. The activated carbon market is segmented based on application, into gas & air, automotive, catalyst, chemicals, food & beverage, mining, pharmaceuticals, water treatment, and others. The activated carbon market based on geography is segmented into North America (US, Canada, and Mexico), Western Europe (Germany, France, Italy, UK, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, and Rest of Western Europe), Eastern Europe (Russia, Poland, and the Rest of Eastern Europe), Asia Pacific (Australia, China, Japan, India, South Korea, Vietnam, Pakistan, Indonesia, Taiwan, and Rest of Asia Pacific), Middle East & Africa (Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Rest of Middle East & Africa), and South & Central America (Brazil and Rest of South & Central America).

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Segmental Analysis:

Based on type, the activated carbon market is segmented into granular/extruded, powdered, honeycombs, impregnated, and reactivated. The powdered segment held the significant share in the activated carbon market and is expected to register the significant growth during 2023 to 2028. Powdered activated carbon is carbonaceous microporous material consisting of a high specific surface area compared to other forms of activated carbon, thereby increasing its adsorption capacity. The mass transfer and filterability of powdered activated carbon is associated with its particle size and size distribution. The benefits of powdered activated carbon utilization are that it offers timely, optimized, and efficient dosage.

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Regional Analysis: 

Based on geography, the activated carbon market is divided into key regions: North America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia Pacific, South & Central America, and Middle East & Africa. The global activated carbon market was dominated by Asia Pacific which accounted for near about US$ 1,481 Million in 2021. Western Europe is a one of the major contributor in the global activated carbon market. North America is expected to register the considerable growth at a CAGR of over 9% during 2023 to 2028. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, the majority of households and industries direct wastewater toward a treatment plant. Wastewater contains nitrogen and phosphorus from human waste, food, and certain soaps and detergents. Hence, the growing concern for environmental protection and rising need for safe water are driving the demand for various wastewater treatment plants and products in the country, which is boosting the market for activated carbon. According to the report published in 2022, Orange Water and Sewer Authority increased the use of powdered activated carbon at the treatment plant to help eliminate undesirable odor. Activated carbon is extensively used in filtration systems of wastewater treatment plants as well as purification & clarification of food & beverage products. The growing concern about water pollution and untreated wastewater in the country is driving the market for activated carbon.

Industry Developments and Future Opportunities: 

Various initiatives taken by the key players operating in the activated carbon market are listed below:

  • In February 2021, Ingevity Corporation expanded its activated carbon production capacity following significant debottlenecking and equipment upgrades completed and verified at its facility in Zhuhai, China.
  • In June 2020, Calgon Carbon Corporation announced that it intends to expand capacity at its Pearlington, Mississippi plant by adding a second virgin activated carbon production line.
  • In January 2021, Tantech Holdings Ltd launched Variety Combination Honeycomb Activated Carbon, an innovative new activated carbon product. Tantech's Variety Combination Honeycomb Activated Carbon product is a new type of environmentally friendly activated carbon (exhaust gas purification product), which can effectively reduce odors and pollutants, including the adsorption of formaldehyde and benzene, and industrial gas purification to reach the national first-level exhaust gas emission standard.

Covid-19 Impact:

The COVID-19 pandemic affected almost all industries in various countries. Lockdowns, travel restrictions, and business shutdowns in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific (APAC), South & Central America (SAM), and the Middle East & Africa (MEA) hampered the growth of several industries, including the chemicals and materials industry. The shutdown of manufacturing units disturbed global supply chains, manufacturing activities, delivery schedules, and essential and nonessential product sales. Various companies witnessed delays in product deliveries and a slump in sales of their products in 2020.  The ongoing pandemic has drastically altered the chemicals & materials sector's status and negatively impacted the activated carbon market growth in Europe. The implementation of measures to combat the spread of the virus has aggravated the situation and has impacted the growth of several industrial sectors. Industries such as automotive, chemical, food and beverages have been impacted by operational efficiencies and disruptions in the value chains due to the sudden closure of national and international boundaries. The significant decline in the growth of several industrial sectors has impacted the demand for activated carbon in the global market. Various industries have faced supply chain disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The demand for activated carbon has been negatively affected due to the total shutdown of manufacturing activities. However, the demand for pharmaceuticals products such as medicines increased during the lockdown to prevent the affect of virus. This factor helped the activated carbon market size to grow.

However, as the economies have revived their operations, the demand for activated carbon is expected to rise globally. The demand for activated carbon has started rising with the resumption of operations in the automotive, food and beverages, along with restarting manufacturing activities and lifting lockdown measures globally. The increase in demand for activated carbon in various applications, such as water treatment, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, and automotive, and significant investments by prominent manufacturers are expected to drive the activated carbon market growth in the coming years.

Competitive Landscape and Key Companies:

A few of the players operating in the global activated carbon market include Osaka Gas Co Ltd, Haycarb PLC, Kureha Corp, Donau Chemie AG, Activated Carbon Technologies Pty Ltd, Albemarle Corp, CPL Activated Carbons, James Cumming and Sons Pty Ltd, Ingevity Corp, and Norit Nederland BV. Global activated carbon manufacturers focus on providing high-quality products to fulfill the customer demand.

Report Coverage
Report Coverage

Revenue forecast, Company Analysis, Industry landscape, Growth factors, and Trends

Segment Covered
Segment Covered

Type, and Application

Regional Scope
Regional Scope

North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, South & Central America

Country Scope
Country Scope

Australia, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, Vietnam

Frequently Asked Questions

Which region is expected to register the fastest CAGR in the global activated carbon market?

North America is estimated to register the fastest CAGR in the global activated carbon market over the forecast period. The growth in the automotive industry, improved management of wastewater, and expansion activities of manufacturers in the region are a few factors expected to fuel the activated carbon market growth during the forecast period.

Can you list some of the major players operating in the global activated carbon market?

Osaka Gas Co Ltd, Haycarb PLC, Kureha Corp, Donau Chemie AG, Activated Carbon Technologies Pty Ltd, Albemarle Corp, CPL Activated Carbons, James Cumming and Sons Pty Ltd, Ingevity Corp, and Norit Nederland BV are a few players operating in the global activated carbon market.

Which region held the largest share of the global activated carbon market?

In 2022, Asia Pacific held the largest share of the global activated carbon market. The major factor driving the activated carbon market growth in the Asia Pacific is the increasing use of activated carbon in various industries such as water treatment, air and gas, food and beverage, mining, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and many others.

Based on application, which segment held the largest share of the global activated carbon market?

The water treatment segment held the largest share of the global activated carbon market in 2022. Over the past few years, the use of activated carbon has become widely established in service water treatment, groundwater rehabilitation, and drinking water treatment.

Based on type, which segment is expected to register the fastest CAGR in the global activated carbon market?

Based on type, granular/extruded segment is expected to register the fastest CAGR in the global activated carbon market over the forecast period. Granular activated carbon (GAC) is utilized in both gas and liquid phases for deodorization applications to eliminate natural organic matter, volatile organic compounds, and contaminants.

Based on type, which is the leading segment in the global activated carbon market?

The powdered segment held the largest share of the global activated carbon market in 2022. Powdered activated carbons (PACs) are pulverized activated carbon with particle size less than 0.075 mm. PACs are carbonaceous microporous materials comprising a higher specific surface area than other activated carbon forms, thereby increasing its adsorption capacity.

The List of Companies - Activated Carbon Market 

  1. Osaka Gas Co Ltd
  2. Haycarb PLC
  3. Kureha Corp
  4. Donau Chemie AG
  5. Activated Carbon Technologies Pty Ltd
  6. Albemarle Corp
  7. CPL Activated Carbons
  8. James Cumming and Sons Pty Ltd
  9. Ingevity Corp
  10. Norit Nederland BV.

The Insight Partners performs research in 4 major stages: Data Collection & Secondary Research, Primary Research, Data Analysis and Data Triangulation & Final Review.

  1. Data Collection and Secondary Research:

As a market research and consulting firm operating from a decade, we have published many reports and advised several clients across the globe. First step for any study will start with an assessment of currently available data and insights from existing reports. Further, historical and current market information is collected from Investor Presentations, Annual Reports, SEC Filings, etc., and other information related to company’s performance and market positioning are gathered from Paid Databases (Factiva, Hoovers, and Reuters) and various other publications available in public domain.

Several associations trade associates, technical forums, institutes, societies and organizations are accessed to gain technical as well as market related insights through their publications such as research papers, blogs and press releases related to the studies are referred to get cues about the market. Further, white papers, journals, magazines, and other news articles published in the last 3 years are scrutinized and analyzed to understand the current market trends.

  1. Primary Research:

The primarily interview analysis comprise of data obtained from industry participants interview and answers to survey questions gathered by in-house primary team.

For primary research, interviews are conducted with industry experts/CEOs/Marketing Managers/Sales Managers/VPs/Subject Matter Experts from both demand and supply side to get a 360-degree view of the market. The primary team conducts several interviews based on the complexity of the markets to understand the various market trends and dynamics which makes research more credible and precise.

A typical research interview fulfils the following functions:

  • Provides first-hand information on the market size, market trends, growth trends, competitive landscape, and outlook
  • Validates and strengthens in-house secondary research findings
  • Develops the analysis team’s expertise and market understanding

Primary research involves email interactions and telephone interviews for each market, category, segment, and sub-segment across geographies. The participants who typically take part in such a process include, but are not limited to:

  • Industry participants: VPs, business development managers, market intelligence managers and national sales managers
  • Outside experts: Valuation experts, research analysts and key opinion leaders specializing in the electronics and semiconductor industry.

Below is the breakup of our primary respondents by company, designation, and region:

Research Methodology

Once we receive the confirmation from primary research sources or primary respondents, we finalize the base year market estimation and forecast the data as per the macroeconomic and microeconomic factors assessed during data collection.

  1. Data Analysis:

Once data is validated through both secondary as well as primary respondents, we finalize the market estimations by hypothesis formulation and factor analysis at regional and country level.

  • 3.1 Macro-Economic Factor Analysis:

We analyse macroeconomic indicators such the gross domestic product (GDP), increase in the demand for goods and services across industries, technological advancement, regional economic growth, governmental policies, the influence of COVID-19, PEST analysis, and other aspects. This analysis aids in setting benchmarks for various nations/regions and approximating market splits. Additionally, the general trend of the aforementioned components aid in determining the market's development possibilities.

  • 3.2 Country Level Data:

Various factors that are especially aligned to the country are taken into account to determine the market size for a certain area and country, including the presence of vendors, such as headquarters and offices, the country's GDP, demand patterns, and industry growth. To comprehend the market dynamics for the nation, a number of growth variables, inhibitors, application areas, and current market trends are researched. The aforementioned elements aid in determining the country's overall market's growth potential.

  • 3.3 Company Profile:

The “Table of Contents” is formulated by listing and analyzing more than 25 - 30 companies operating in the market ecosystem across geographies. However, we profile only 10 companies as a standard practice in our syndicate reports. These 10 companies comprise leading, emerging, and regional players. Nonetheless, our analysis is not restricted to the 10 listed companies, we also analyze other companies present in the market to develop a holistic view and understand the prevailing trends. The “Company Profiles” section in the report covers key facts, business description, products & services, financial information, SWOT analysis, and key developments. The financial information presented is extracted from the annual reports and official documents of the publicly listed companies. Upon collecting the information for the sections of respective companies, we verify them via various primary sources and then compile the data in respective company profiles. The company level information helps us in deriving the base number as well as in forecasting the market size.

  • 3.4 Developing Base Number:

Aggregation of sales statistics (2020-2022) and macro-economic factor, and other secondary and primary research insights are utilized to arrive at base number and related market shares for 2022. The data gaps are identified in this step and relevant market data is analyzed, collected from paid primary interviews or databases. On finalizing the base year market size, forecasts are developed on the basis of macro-economic, industry and market growth factors and company level analysis.

  1. Data Triangulation and Final Review:

The market findings and base year market size calculations are validated from supply as well as demand side. Demand side validations are based on macro-economic factor analysis and benchmarks for respective regions and countries. In case of supply side validations, revenues of major companies are estimated (in case not available) based on industry benchmark, approximate number of employees, product portfolio, and primary interviews revenues are gathered. Further revenue from target product/service segment is assessed to avoid overshooting of market statistics. In case of heavy deviations between supply and demand side values, all thes steps are repeated to achieve synchronization.

We follow an iterative model, wherein we share our research findings with Subject Matter Experts (SME’s) and Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) until consensus view of the market is not formulated – this model negates any drastic deviation in the opinions of experts. Only validated and universally acceptable research findings are quoted in our reports.

We have important check points that we use to validate our research findings – which we call – data triangulation, where we validate the information, we generate from secondary sources with primary interviews and then we re-validate with our internal data bases and Subject matter experts. This comprehensive model enables us to deliver high quality, reliable data in shortest possible time.

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