Activated Carbon Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)

The Activated Carbon 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 and Africa). The Report Offers Market Size and Forecasts for Activated Carbon in Volume (kilo tons) for the above-mentioned segments.

Market Snapshot

Activated Carbon Market Overview
Study Period: 2017-2027
Base Year: 2021
Fastest Growing Market: Asia Pacific
Largest Market: Asia Pacific
CAGR: >3 %

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Market Overview

The activated carbon market was valued at more than 1,600 kiloton in 2021, and the market is projected to register a CAGR of over 3% during the forecast period (2022-2027).

Due to COVID-19, the economies of several countries have been badly affected, and several industries' growth and production have declined. However, the usage of activated carbon in face masks increased the market, as the demand for face masks increased due to the pandemic. Many manufacturing companies were on halt, and few continued their flow of supply, making sure the industries which rely on their products are kept alive, such as Haycarb. Haycarb PLC, in the battle against the global pandemic, donated 3,000 face masks of Oxypura Care brand equipped with a carbon filter along with a TDK 20 filter material. Similarly, Donau Carbon GmBH donated 500 face masks based on carbon material to local Frankfurt hospital as a helping aid.

  • In the medium term, 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).
  • On the flip side, narrower markets due to the increased costs of some grades of activated carbon and the threat of substitutes like silica gel and supersand are expected to hinder the growth of the market studied.
  • Asia-Pacific dominated the market across the world with the largest consumption from the countries, such as China and Japan.

Scope of the Report

Activated carbon is a form of carbon processed to have small, low-volume pores that increase the surface area available for adsorption or chemical reactions. Usually, activated carbon is extracted from charcoal. The activated carbon market is segmented by product type, application, end-user industry, and geography. By product type, the market is segmented into powdered activated carbon (PAC), granular activated carbon (GAC), extruded or pelletized activated carbon. By application, the market is segmented into gas purification, water purification, metal extraction, medicine, and other applications. By end-user industry, the market is segmented into water treatment, food and beverage, healthcare, automotive, industrial processing, and other end-user industries. The report also covers the market size and forecasts for the activated carbon market in 15 countries across major regions. For each segment, the market sizing and forecasts have been done on the basis of volume (kilo tons).

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
Industrial Processing
Other End-user Industries
South Korea
Rest of Asia-Pacific
North America
United States
United Kingdom
Rest of Europe
South America
Rest of South America
Middle-East and Africa
Saudi Arabia
South Africa
Rest of Middle-East and Africa

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Key Market Trends

Increasing Demand for Water Treatment Application

  • Water treatment is the fastest application of activated carbon. Most of the water treatment filters are made up of granular activated carbon.
  • In terms of volume, the water treatment segment is estimated to have the second largest share, with more than 30% of the total market, in 2022.
  • It is used for the removal of organic-chemical substances and colorants and reduces trace substances, such as chemicals.
  • Additionally, the federal policy programs, including the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Clean Water Act coordinated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), provide treatment and discharge regulations, funding programs, and frameworks for operating and applying innovative water and wastewater treatment technologies. Hence, this is further expected to boost the demand for activated carbon from the water treatment segment.
  • In July 2021, Veolia enhanced the development of its water business in Japan by signing off the operation of Miyagi Water and WasteWater Concession Project.This concession contract is for 20 years O&M and renewal works of 8 treatment plants, with a total treatment capacity of over 900,000 m3 per day, thus augment the market studued.
  • In 2020, the European Investment Bank invested about EUR 4 billion in the water and wastewater management sector to provide safe drinking water to 29.6 billion people. This is expected to increase the water and wastewater treatment capacities in the region
  • Furthermore, In 2021, The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Flemish wastewater treatment company Aquafin collaborated with the signature of a new financing agreement worth EUR 100 million, for enhancing waste water treament quantity.
  • Therefore, considering the aforementioned factors, the demand for activated carbon is expected to rise from the water treatment segment during the forecast period. Moreover, the COVID-19 outbreak is expected to have a positive impact on the market due to increasing awareness toward water safety and hygiene.
Activated Carbon Market - Segmentation

China to Dominate the Market in the Asia-Pacific Region

  • The Asia-Pacific region is expected to dominate the market, with China being the top.
  • China is among the largest consumer country of activated carbon in the world. Activated carbon is used widely in water treatment, food and beverage, healthcare, automotive industries, and industrial processing.
  • Increasing water requirements from the industrial sector and changing government regulations for the prevention of water pollution and control action plan have increased the demand for water treatment in recent years.Wastewater treatment is mainly used because of the coal, steel, and iron industries which require fresh water for day-to-day activities.
  • According to International Trade Administration, China plans to build or renovate 80,000 km of sewage collection pipeline networks and increase sewage treatment capacity by 20 million cubic meter/day between 2021-2025.
  • China has one of the major food industries across the world. The growing population and the average per capita consumption are major drivers for the growth of the food market in the country. The revenue generated by the Chinese food industry increased from CNY 577.5 billion in 2019 to CNY 621 billion in 2020.
  • China also has the recogonised market for pharmaceuticals and is the fastest emerging market for activated carbon. The country has a large and diverse domestic drug industry, comprising around 5,000 manufacturers, of which many are small- or medium-sized. Also, the country’s 13th Five-Year Plan and the covid-19 surge in the recent years prioritizes health and innovation, which is expected to increase investments in the sector during the forecast period.
  • Hence, from the above-mentioned factors, China is likely to dominate the market in the Asia-Pacific region during the forecast period.
Activated Carbon Market-Regional Trend

Competitive Landscape

  • The activated carbon market is consolidated, where the top-five players accounting for a major share in the global market. The major companies for the activated carbon market include Cabot Corporation, Jacobi Carbons Group, Ingevity, Kuraray Co Ltd, and Haycarb (Pvt) Ltd, among others.

Recent Developments

  • In Nov 2021, Cabot Corporation announced to sell its Purification Solutions business including activated carbon business to One Equity Partners, and the transaction is expected to complete by the end of first quarter 2022.
  • In February 2021, Ingevity Corporation announced that it has expanded its activated carbon production capacity following significant debottlenecking and equipment upgrades completed and verified in late December at its facility in Zhuhai, China.
  • In September 2020, Advanced Emissions Solutions, Inc. Announces 15-Year Activated Carbon Supply Agreement with Cabot Corporation. The agreement is expected to increase the manufacturing utilization, diversify activated carbon product mix, provide 30-40% incremental revenue growth.
  • In June 2020, Calgon Carbon Corporation announced that it intends to expand capacity at its Pearlington, Mississippi plant by adding a second virgin activated carbon production line. The estimated investment in the additional production line will be USD 185 million. Calgon Carbon’s virgin granular activated carbon capacity will exceed 200 million pounds per year post completion which is estimated to be in late 2022.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions

    2. 1.2 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 Development Of Better Alternatives

      3. 4.2.3 Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Industries like Automotive, Industrial, etc.

    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

    7. 4.7 Price Trends

    8. 4.8 Technological Snapshot

    9. 4.9 Production Analysis


    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 Processing

      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

      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 and Africa

        1. Saudi Arabia

        2. South Africa

        3. Rest of Middle-East and Africa


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

    2. 6.2 Market Share/Ranking Analysis**

    3. 6.3 Strategies Adopted by Leading Players

    4. 6.4 Company Profiles

      1. 6.4.1 Advanced Emissions Solutions Inc.

      2. 6.4.2 Albemarle Corporation

      3. 6.4.3 Cabot Corporation​

      4. 6.4.4 Carbon Activated Corporation​

      5. 6.4.5 CPL Activated Carbons​

      6. 6.4.6 Donau Carbon GmbH

      7. 6.4.7 Evoqua Water Technologies LLC​

      8. 6.4.8 HAYCARB (PVT) LTD

      9. 6.4.9 Ingevity​

      10. 6.4.10 Jacobi Carbons Group​

      11. 6.4.11 Kuraray Co. Ltd​

      12. 6.4.12 Kureha Corporation​

      13. 6.4.13 Prominent Systems Inc.

      14. 6.4.14 Puragen Activated Carbons​

      15. 6.4.15 Silcarbon Aktivkohle GmbH​

      16. 6.4.16 Veolia​

    5. *List Not Exhaustive

    1. 7.1 Increasing Popularity of Reactivated Carbon

**Subject to Availability

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Activated Carbon Market market is studied from 2017 - 2027.

The Activated Carbon Market is growing at a CAGR of >3% over the next 5 years.

Asia Pacific is growing at the highest CAGR over 2021- 2026.

Asia Pacific holds highest share in 2021.

Cabot Corporation, JACOBI CARBONS GROUP, Kuraray Co., Ltd., HAYCARB (PVT) LTD., Ingevity are the major companies operating in Activated Carbon Market.

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