LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Technavio market research analysts forecast the global activated carbon market to grow at a CAGR of more than 11% during the forecast period, according to their latest report.
The market study covers the present scenario and growth prospects of the global activated carbon market for 2017-2021. The report also lists powdered activated carbon and granular activated carbon as the two major product segments, of which the powdered activated carbon segment accounted for more than 55% of the market share in 2016.
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Technavio analysts highlight the following three market drivers that are contributing to the growth of the global activated carbon market:
- Increased need for purification
- High demand for powdered activated carbon
- Mercury emission control
Increased need for purification
Applications of activated carbon vary for different end-user segments. It is mainly used as an adsorbent to remove contaminants and impurities. Water and air purification are the major applications driving the market. Growing industrialization has led to an increased concern towards safe drinking water, which has led to a rise in the use of activated carbon in purification processes. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has enforced Disinfection By-Products (DBP) rules focusing mainly on public water systems to reduce disinfection byproducts from drinking water. This has been widely adopted across the globe, which has triggered the need for water purification in industrial nations.
“Apart from the purification of water, activated carbon is also used as adsorbents in other applications based on the end-product. For instance, in food and beverage production it is used for removing flavors, aromatic substance, and colors from products. Also in pharmaceutical companies, it is used to purify the ingredients used for making medicines,” says Mahitha Mallishetty, a lead analyst at Technavio for metals and minerals research.
High demand for powdered activated carbon
The main difference between granular activated carbon and powdered activated carbon is the particle size it adsorbs. Powdered activated carbon is growing fast in the global activated carbon market. For instance, the demand for powdered activated carbon in the US increased after the conception of Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) in 2011, due to the rise in the use of activated carbon injection (ACI) systems.
In ACI systems, powdered activated carbon is used in the purification process, which is a more effective method. Cost-benefit ratio for companies has been increased due to the use of ACI systems. The high adsorption capacity of powdered activated carbon is replacing the use of granular activated carbon in many applications due to its high degree of microporosity.
Mercury emission control
Coal-fired plants are major sources of mercury emission. Increased demand for activated carbon is due to stringent water and air pollution regulations. Industrial adoption of products such as powdered activated carbon for mercury removal in air purification process has also increased the demand for activated carbon. For instance, the US EPA enforced MATS in 2011.
These standards drastically reduced the mercury emission from coal-fired power plants, industrial boilers, and other sources. Mercury is a toxic metal, and it is difficult to remove from natural gas. If natural gas is not processed properly, even a small amount of mercury will form amalgams with the metals it touches causing corrosion and leading to a catastrophic loss to the plant.
“Carbon is fused with metals that will react with mercury to increase the effectiveness of activated carbon. Thus, mercury emission control in industries is driving the growth of the global activated carbon market,” says Mahitha.
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