Global Activated Carbon Market Trends and Forecasts

Global activated carbon market size was estimated at USD 2.23 billion in 2013.  Global Activated Carbon market was valued at $2.41 billion in 2014 and is expected to reach a value of $4.46 billion by 2020 showing a compound annual growth rate of 10.8%.

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.

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.

North America activated carbon market revenue by product, 2012-2020, (USD Million)

North America activated carbon market

In terms of tonnage, the global market was 1.56 million metric tons in 2014. Asia Pacific dominated the global activated carbon market, accounting for over 40% of total volumes in 2014, with china being a leading exporter, accounting for over 35% of total Asian activated carbon exports in 2014.

To assess the market, activated carbon is divided into three major types Рpowdered activated carbon (PAC), granular activated carbon (GAC) and extruded activated carbon (EAC).   Activated carbons manufactured from coconut shells are mainly in powdered and granular forms, while those from coal are commonly in granular and extruded forms and those manufactured from wood are majorly powdered form. For more information, please check Raw materials of activated carbons.

the market is expected to grow at a five-year CAGR of 11.3%, to reach $3.7 billion, by 2019. Stricter government regulations across regions for air purification and water treatment will drive the market for powdered and granular activated carbon.




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.