Activated Carbon Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

The market is segmented by Product Type (Powdered Activated Carbon, Granular Activated Carbon, and Pelletized or Extruded Activated Carbon), Application (Gas Purification, Water Purification, Metal Extraction, Medicine, and Other Applications), End-user Industry (Water Treatment, Food and Beverage, Healthcare, Automotive, Industrial Processing, and Other End-user Industries), and Geography (Asia-Pacific, North America, Europe, South America and Middle East & Africa).

Market Snapshot

Study Period:

2016 - 2026

Base Year:


Fastest Growing Market:

Asia Pacific

Largest Market:

Asia Pacific


6 %

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Market Overview

The market for activated carbon is expected to register a CAGR of over 6% during the forecast period. Major factors driving the market studied are conformance to stringent environmental regulations in water treatment applications in the United States and augmenting prominence for air pollution control (especially mercury removal). Narrower markets due to the increased costs of some grades of activated carbon and threat of substitutes like silica gel and super sand are expected to hinder the growth of the market studied.

  • Water purification application dominated the market and is expected to grow during the forecast period, owing to the use of activated carbon in municipal wastewater treatment and a number of industrial processes.
  • The rising demand from the food and beverage industry is likely to act as an opportunity in the future.
  • Asia-Pacific dominated the market across the globe with the largest consumption from the countries, such as China and Japan.

Scope of the Report

The activated carbon market includes:

Product Type
Powdered Activated Carbons (PAC)
Granular Activated Carbons (GAC)
Extruded or Pelletized Activated Carbon
Gas Purification
Water Purification
Metal Extraction
Other Applications
End-user Industry
Water Treatment
Food and Beverage
Other End-user Industries
South Korea
Rest of Asia-Pacific
North America
United States
Rest of North America
United Kingdom
Rest of Europe
South America
Rest of South America
Middle East & Africa
Saudi Arabia
South Africa
Rest of Middle East & Africa

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Key Market Trends

Increasing Demand for Water Treatment Application

  • Water treatment is the largest application of activated carbon. Most of the water treatment filters are made up of granular activated carbon.
  • It is used for the removal of organic-chemical substances and colorants and reduces trace substances, such as chemicals.
  • Activated carbon is used as a polishing step to remove dissolved organic and non-biodegradable compounds, following physical and biological pre-treatment processes to remove solids and biological oxygen demand.
  • Activated carbon removes the impurities from water primarily through surface adsorption. Usage of activated carbon for water purification purposes is also the most cost-efficient point-of-use (POU) water purification devices.
  • Water treatment applications have a high demand for industrial and water treatment in North America and Western Europe. Increase in industrial manufacturing in Asia-Pacific is another major driver for the increase in the activated carbon demand in this segment.

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China to Dominate the Market in Asia-Pacific Region

  • China is the second largest consumer countries of activated carbon in the world after the United States. Activated carbon is used widely in water treatment, food and beverage, healthcare, automotive industries, and industrial processing.
  • China’s food and beverage industry is enormous and plays an important role in the country’s economy.
  • The food and beverage industry is expected to continue to grow because of the increasing middle class population with more purchase power, as well as growing attention on the food safety and quality.
  • Waste water treatment is mainly because of the coal, steel and iron industries which require fresh water for the day to day activities.
  • North China has approximately 90% of the country’s coal based industries. Also, North China has less reserves of fresh water, therefore, increasing the demand for waste water technologies which in turn is providing opportunities for the activated carbon market during the forecast period.

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Competitive Landscape

The activated carbon market is consolidated. The top five players account for more than 50% of the market share. The major companies for the activated carbon market include Calgon Carbon Corporation, Cabot Corporation, JACOBI CARBONS GROUP, Ingevity, and Kuraray Co., Ltd. among others.

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Table Of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Deliverables

    2. 1.2 Study Assumptions

    3. 1.3 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Drivers

      1. 4.1.1 Conformance to Stringent Environmental Regulations in Water Treatment Applications in the United States

      2. 4.1.2 Augmenting Prominence for Air Pollution Control (Especially Mercury Removal)

    2. 4.2 Restraints

      1. 4.2.1 Narrower Markets Due to Increased Costs of Some Grades of Activated Carbon

      2. 4.2.2 Threat of Substitutes Like Silica Gel and Supersand

    3. 4.3 Industry Value-Chain Analysis

    4. 4.4 Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.4.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      2. 4.4.2 Bargaining Power of Consumers

      3. 4.4.3 Threat of New Entrants

      4. 4.4.4 Threat of Substitute Products and Services

      5. 4.4.5 Degree of Competition

    5. 4.5 Regulatory Policies

    6. 4.6 Trade Analysis (Import And Export Trends)

    7. 4.7 Price Trends


    1. 5.1 Product Type

      1. 5.1.1 Powdered Activated Carbons (PAC)

      2. 5.1.2 Granular Activated Carbons (GAC)

      3. 5.1.3 Extruded or Pelletized Activated Carbon

    2. 5.2 Application

      1. 5.2.1 Gas Purification

      2. 5.2.2 Water Purification

      3. 5.2.3 Metal Extraction

      4. 5.2.4 Medicine

      5. 5.2.5 Other Applications

    3. 5.3 End-user Industry

      1. 5.3.1 Water Treatment

      2. 5.3.2 Food and Beverage

      3. 5.3.3 Healthcare

      4. 5.3.4 Automotive

      5. 5.3.5 Industrial

      6. 5.3.6 Other End-user Industries

    4. 5.4 Geography

      1. 5.4.1 Asia-Pacific

        1. China

        2. India

        3. Japan

        4. South Korea

        5. Rest of Asia-Pacific

      2. 5.4.2 North America

        1. United States

        2. Canada

        3. Mexico

        4. Rest of North America

      3. 5.4.3 Europe

        1. Germany

        2. United Kingdom

        3. Italy

        4. France

        5. Rest of Europe

      4. 5.4.4 South America

        1. Brazil

        2. Argentina

        3. Rest of South America

      5. 5.4.5 Middle East & Africa

        1. Saudi Arabia

        2. South Africa

        3. Rest of Middle East & Africa


    1. 6.1 Mergers and Acquisitions, Joint Ventures, Collaborations, and Agreements

    2. 6.2 Market Share Analysis**

    3. 6.3 Strategies Adopted by Leading Players

    4. 6.4 Company Profiles

      1. 6.4.1 Energy Capital Partners

      2. 6.4.2 Albemarle Corporation

      3. 6.4.3 Cabot Corporation

      4. 6.4.4 Calgon Carbon Corporation

      5. 6.4.5 Carbon Activated Corporation

      6. 6.4.6 CPL Activated Carbons

      7. 6.4.7 Donau Chemie AG

      8. 6.4.8 Evoqua Water Technologies LLC

      9. 6.4.9 HAYCARB (PVT) LTD.

      10. 6.4.10 Ingevity

      11. 6.4.11 JACOBI CARBONS GROUP

      12. 6.4.12 Kuraray Co. Ltd

      13. 6.4.13 KUREHA CORPORATION

      14. 6.4.14 Puragen Activated Carbons

      15. 6.4.15 Prominent Systems, Inc.

      16. 6.4.16 Silcarbon Aktivkohle GmbH

      17. 6.4.17 Veolia

  7. *List Not Exhaustive

    1. 7.1 Rising Demand From Food & Beverage Industry

    2. 7.2 Increasing Investment And New Mining Projects In Africa

** Subject to Availability

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