Activated carbon also known as activated charcoal and activated coal is a processed non-graphite porous form of carbon formed by activation of carbonaceous material such as sawdust, bamboo, coconut shells, wood chips, lignite, coal, paddy husk etc. Powder, granular and extruded are the common products used in activated carbons market. Impregnated carbon is another variety, which contains different elements such as polymer coated carbons, iodine and silver. Activated carbon is used in wide range of applications in gas, vapor, and liquid treatment. The value chain of activated carbon includes raw material suppliers, production process, product supply channels, end-use industries and post sales service.
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The implementation of Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) and National Primary Drinking Water Regulations issued by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and several other regional regulations for air and water purification are expected to drive the activated carbon market over the forecast period. Trade tariffs, regulatory uncertainties, mergers and acquisitions, and raw material shortages are the major concerns in the current market scenario. Rapid developments in the field of reactivated carbon market are expected to open new growth window for manufacturers as well as end-users. The use of reactivated carbon by industrial facilities and municipalities reduces their carbon footprints and saves money.
The market for activated carbon in 2012 was valued at USD 1,913.2 million and is forecast to reach USD 4,180.5 million by the end of 2019, growing at a CAGR of 11.9% between 2013 and 2019. The powdered activated carbon is the fastest growing product segment, growing at a CAGR of over 13.7% from 2013 to 2019 in terms of revenue. However, granular activated carbon is forecasted to account for over 32% share of the global market in 2019.
Liquid phase application dominates the global activated carbon consumption, which accounted for over 58% share of the global activated market in 2012. However, gas phase application is expected to be the fastest growing application market growing at a CAGR of over 13% from 2013 to 2019 in terms of revenue.
Water treatment application dominated the demand for activated carbon in 2012 and is expected to be one of the major growth driving factors. The activated carbon consumption in water treatment industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.2% from 2013 to 2019. Air purification was the second largest market segment in 2012 and is expected to be the fastest growing application market for activated carbon from 2013 to 2019.
Asia Pacific emerged as the highest consumer of activated carbon and accounted for nearly 41% of the global market share in 2012. The growth of major end-use industries including water treatment and air purification mainly in Japan and emerging economies of China and India are expected to fuel the market for activated carbon in the region. Water treatment industry was the largest outlet for activated carbon and accounted for over 47% share of the Asia Pacific market in 2012.
North America was the second largest market for activated carbon which accounted for over 27% share of the global market in 2012. Owing to the significant increase in demand for activated carbon in Asia Pacific and RoW, the market share of Europe and North America is expected to decline over the forecast period.
The activated carbon market is highly concentrated and top three companies occupy about 68% of the total market for activated carbon by revenue. Calgon Carbon Corporation is the leading participant in the global activated carbon market and occupies a healthy market share. Carbon Resources LLC., Haycarb PLC, Jacobi Carbons AB, Meadwestvaco Corporation, Cabot Norit Activated Carbon., and Siemens Water Technologies Corp., are some of the other key participants in the market.
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