Activated carbon is used to remove the presence of heavy metals in industrial waste. Due to its high degree of microporosity, which results in its high adsorptive power, activated carbon removes heavy metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and chromium. The global activated carbon market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.9% in the period between 2013 and 2019. The global activated carbon market was valued at US$1913.2 million in 2012 and, at the aforementioned positive CAGR, is expected to reach a valuation of US$4180.5 million by 2019.
Environmental Degradation will Boost Global Activated Carbon Market
The global activated carbon market has a huge opportunity to grow due to the increasing threat of environmental degradation caused by heavy metals in industrial waste. Most heavy metals are poisonous in nature and affect plants and animals alike. The Mercury and Air Toxics Standard issued by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stresses on reducing the presence of mercury, acid gas, and some other common metal emissions released by coal- and oil-powered plants. Stringent guidelines for mercury removal at industrial plants are expected to help the growth of the global activated carbon market.
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However, although unreliable, the usage of metallurgical coal and coconut shell charcoal could slow the growth of the global activated carbon market. To decrease the operational cost of the process with minimal effect on the environment, reactivation of carbon is often performed by manufacturers. This is expected to open up new opportunities for the global activated carbon market.
Powdered Activated Carbon Segment took up 49% of Global Activated Carbon Market in 2012
According to product type, the global activated carbon market is categorized into powdered and granular activated carbon. Due to the extensive usage of powdered activated carbon in mercury removal, 49% of the global activated carbon market was taken up by this segment in 2012 and the segment is expected to grow consistently in the forecast period. Following on its heels, more than 32% of the global activated carbon market share will be held by the granular activated carbon segment by 2019.
On the basis of application, the liquid phase segment held 58% of the global activated carbon market in 2012 by volume. The gas phase segment is tagged to be the fastest growing segment in the forecast period, growing at a CAGR of 13%.
Depending upon the end-use segmentation of the global activated carbon market, water treatment accounted for more than 40% of total consumption in 2012. Due to the rising water contamination level worldwide, water treatment for the removal of heavy metals has become prioritized. During the forecast period, it will continue to be the largest end-use segment in the global activated carbon market. Air purification is expected to be the fastest growing end-use segment, growing at a CAGR of 13.9% during the forecast period. Rising pharmaceutical output in North America and Asia Pacific has made the pharmaceutical industry one of the key end users of activated carbon. Food and beverage processing and automotive industries are the other key end-use segments of the global activated carbon market.
Asia Pacific Generated 41% of Total Revenue in Global Activated Carbon Market in 2012
Geographically, Asia Pacific accounted for more than 41% of the total revenue of the global activated carbon market in 2012 and it is forecasted to be the fastest growing market as well, with growth expected at a 12.0% CAGR. The major producers of activated carbon in the region are China, Japan and India. Demand from Europe and North America is expected to grow at significant CAGRs of 7.6% and 12.2%, respectively, during the forecast period from 2013 to 2019.
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