The global activated carbon market is projected to be worth more than $8 billion and grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 9.4% by 2021, says Research and Markets.
The growing use of activated carbon in industrial applications has led to that spike, the research firm says. Basically, the activated carbon is used to remove a wide range of contaminants from liquids and gases used by industry. It can also be applied to absorb a product that could possibly be used again later.
Activated carbon is manufactured from any material whose primary source comes from carbon such as coal. It is used in gas purification, decaffeination, gold purification, metal extraction, water purification, medicine, sewage treatment, air filters in gas masks and respirators, filters in compressed air and many other industrial applications that includes electric vehicles, according to Wikipedia.
The fastest growing markets are on those in the Asia-Pacific region, says Research and Markets, noting that soil remediation and pharmaceutical applications are among the immediate beneficiaries. The companies mentioned in the report include Cabot Corp., Calgon Carbon Corp., Haycarb, Kuraray Co. and Prominent Systems.
“The gaseous phase application is the fastest growing application segment in the global activated carbon market,” says the report. “The use of activated carbon for air purification applications, removal of mercury, hydrogen sulfide, and chlorine is expected to drive the global activated carbon market. Moreover, the growing use of hybrid and electronic cars is also expected to drive the demand in the automotive application of the market.”
For example, the U.S. Department of Energy is working with private enterprise to develop the tools to make significant cuts in mercury from coal-fired power plants. The agency has achieved at least 50 percent reductions based on 1999 levels using “activated carbon injections” that also work to cut sulfur dioxide.
The Government Accountability Office has determined that “activated carbon injections” have the potential to cut mercury emissions by 90 percent — at an average price of $3.6 million per plant.