Activated carbon, a functional carbon material with properties of physical and chemical adsorption, can be divided into coal-based activated carbon, wood-based activated carbon, and other activated carbons.

In 2015, global activated carbon capacity approximated 2.1 million tons (mainly distributed in China, the United States, Japan, and Europe), compared with total demand of only about 1.547 million tons, indicating a huge excess capacity across the entire industry and further capacity integration or elimination in the future.

As the world’s largest producer of activated carbon, China’s capacity and output of activated carbon reached roughly 900,000 tons and about 628,000 tons (up 6.6% year on year) respectively in 2015, with autilization of 69.8%. Driven by environmental protection and automobile industries, China’s activated carbon industry will continue to grow steadily in the future at an output CAGR of around 7.4% during 2016-2020.

Besides satisfying domestic demand, about 1/3 of China-made activated carbon is exported. The country exported 251,000 tons of activated carbon, including 58,000 tons of wood-based activated carbon, mainly to Japan, Peru, and Indonesia, and 193,000 tons of other activated carbons, primarily to Japan, South Korea, and Belgium.

Water treatment and food & beverage are two application fields of activated carbon in China, together making up 60.2% of total demand in 2015, with the former mainly adopting granular activated carbon and the latter powdered activated carbon.

Major global activated carbon manufacturers include U.S. Calgon, Cabot, and Meadwestvaco, Japanese Kuraray and Osaka Gas, French CECA, and Chinese Fujian Yuanli Active Carbon, Datong Coal Mining Jinding Activated Carbon, and Shanxi Xinhua Chemical. Calgon is the world’s largest activated carbon producer with a 21.2% global market share, Fujian Yuanli Active Carbon is the largest wood-based activated carbon maker in China, seizing about 21.7% of the Chinese wood-based activated carbon market, and Datong Coal Mining Jinding Activated Carbon is the country’s largest coal-based activated carbon manufacturer, occupying 16.7% or so of the segment in China.

Global and China Activated Carbon Industry Report, 2016-2020 by ResearchInChina highlights the followings:
Global activated carbon industry (overview, market size/structure, demand in major countries, etc.);
China’s activated carbon industry (overview, development environment, output/sales, patent, price, market structure, imports/exports, competitive landscape, development trends, etc.);
Main upstream sectors (wood cutting/processing, chemical activator, coal) (market size/price/structure, etc.);
Main applications (water treatment, food & beverage, automobile, pharmaceuticals, etc.) (development, product application, etc.);
6 global and 19 Chinese activated carbon producers (operation, presence in China, activated carbon business, etc.).