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The top three players, Calgon Carbon Corporation, Cabot Corporation, and Meadwestvaco Corporation occupied about 68% of the global activated carbon market by revenue in 2012. The oligopolistic market has many joint ventures between large and small carbon manufacturers in order to enhance their revenue growth, reports Transparency Market Research (TMR) in a new study.

“Air purification is expected to emerge as the most promising application in the activated carbon market globally, from the manufacturing point of view,” the author of the study states. The inherent quality of activated carbon can be used in air purification and water treatment, making it a smart investment for many industries and municipal bodies.

Coal-burning and cement plants in China emit alarming levels of mercury, more mercury than the United States, India, and Europe combined. China has taken a few necessary measures to phase out the high levels of mercury emissions. The demand for activated carbon will grow in China in the wake of environment conservation. The European Union and countries such as Australia and Japan are also introducing special programs in order to monitor the mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants closely.

Other than flue gases, activated carbon is also used in water treatment plants. A growth in the trend of wastewater management is expected to fuel the activated carbon market globally. The APAC region, especially India and China, is anticipated to register the highest growth in the wastewater treatment market.

Reactivation of spent carbon reduces the price to 65%-85% of the virgin activated carbon. This process has resulted as a remedy to the increasing pressure on companies to reduce their activated carbon production cost. Moreover, the reactivation process resolves disposal problems and cuts down greenhouse gases by 80% as compared to the production of the virgin material.

In addition, refineries working on carbon reactivation are awarded environment credits by regulatory bodies. Europe has been a leading user of activated carbon since decades. However, prospects of reactivated carbon seem to be thriving in North America.

On the basis of products, the market has been segmented into powdered activated carbon, granular activated carbon, and other forms of activated carbon. The powdered activated carbon dominates the market followed granular activated carbon. However, the activated carbon market is subject to experiments and the companies are shifting their focus to the research and development of new types of activated carbon.

“The global market for activated carbon will register considerable growth in the forthcoming years,” the TMR analyst predicts. By revenue, the global activated carbon market is anticipated to rise from US$2,656.8 mn in 2015 to US$4,180.5 mn in 2019.

With the rising concerns for air purification, the gas phase activated carbon is expected to witness a gradual rise in its demand. However, liquid phase activated carbon will maintain a lead throughout the forecast period.



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