The Europe activated carbon market is estimated to witness a healthy growth, at an estimated CAGR of around 4.5%, over the forecast period. Major factor driving the market studied is the augmenting prominence for air pollution control (especially mercury removal).
- Threat of substitutes like silica gel and development of better alternatives are expected to hinder the market growth.
- Rising demand from the food and beverage industry and emerging applications in the medical and pharmaceutical sector are likely to act as opportunities in the future.
- Germany accounted for the largest market share and is expected to continue domination during the forecast period.
Key Market Trends
Increasing Demand from Gas Purification Application
- The process of gas purification mainly involves either extruded (pressed pellets) or coarse granular activated carbon.
- The major role of gas purification is the purification of processed gases. This application is used in the removal of hydrogen sulfide, hydrogen, and mercury. It is also used in the purification of carbon dioxide, the purification of amine solutions in natural gas, and in fruit storage applications.
- The other application areas include air purification, environmental purification, and personnel protection.
- This is used for the removal of mercury during LNG production. Russia plans to increase its LNG production to 73.2 mt by 2025, from about 27 million metric ton in 2019.
- Activated carbon pellets can be used for the removal of hydrogen sulfide in biogas streams, from landfills, anaerobic (AD) digesters, or municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTP). The bio-gas production in the region is also expected to increase by ten folds, from the current capacity, by 2030.
- All these factors are expected to drive the demand for activated carbon, for gas purification applications across Europe.
Germany to Dominate the Market
- The German water treatment technology market is the largest in Europe and is still growing at a considerable pace. The increasing water treatment activities, primarily in the northern region of the country, are boosting the demand for activated carbon. Currently, the country’s water supply and wastewater treatment sectors together account for about ~EUR 22 billion annually.
- Environmental protection and human health are considered extremely important in Germany. This importance has led to efficient water and wastewater treatment methods, and nearly 100% of the wastewater in Germany is treated to meet the highest standards set by the European Union.
- Germany has more than five billion cubic meters of sewage water, which is generated each year by private households, industry, and trade. Approximately three billion cubic meters of rain-water, from paved surfaces and roads, is discharged into sewage treatment plants, with a considerable additional amount of infiltration water entering the sewer system through leaks.
- Germany has the largest market for industrial wastewater treatment in Europe, with almost 3,000 treatment plants in around 12,000 discharging companies. More than 920 million cubic meters of industrial wastewater is treated annually in the country, before being discharged to the outside environment. Additionally, according to the Federal Ministry, about 99% of the people in Germany have direct access to the wastewater treatment plants.
- The Federal Water Act and corresponding regulations, such as the Drinking Water Ordinance (TrinkwV), Wastewater Charges Act (AbwAG), and the Waste-Water Ordinance (AbwV), as well as a number of local federal state provisions have created the legal basis for transboundary and a sustainable water management system in Germany.
- Hence, with the increase in demand from various applications, the demand for activated carbon in Germany is expected to rise at the fastest rate in Europe.
The European activated carbon market is consolidated, with the top five players accounting for about 60% of the market share. Major players in the market include Kuraray Co. Ltd, Cabot Corporation, Jacobi Carbons Ab (Osaka Gas Chemicals Co. Ltd), Ingevity, and Desotec, among others.
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