Activated Carbon Fiber (ACF) Market Overview
Activated carbon fiber (ACF) market size is forecast to reach US$4.1 billion by 2026, after growing at a CAGR of 9.8% during 2021-2026. Activated carbon fibers (ACFs) have superior carbon fiber and activated carbon properties. Activated carbon fiber (ACF) based on polyacrylonitrile and phenolic resin possess excellent properties such as high surface area and absorption power, fast adsorption and desorption rates, and ease of manufacturing. These characteristics make it especially ideal for air purification, wastewater treatment, chemical recovery, and many others. The size of the activated carbon fiber (ACF) market will see substantial growth in the coming years, fueled by increased demand for goods from the water treatment industry. Furthermore, in the coming years, stringent legislation implemented by regional regulatory bodies to facilitate water management practices would have a positive effect on the scale of the activated carbon fiber industry.
The usage of activated carbon fiber (ACF) in the medical industry has been increased exponentially during the COVID-19 pandemic, due to its increasing consumption of filter masks. The high populated country such as India, and China, were the topped rank countries where the pandemic was high, due to this the demand of filter mask have also increased drastically in these regions. As a result, the consumption of activated carbon fiber (ACF) was in a balanced condition, this factor has somehow not heavily impacted the growth of the activated carbon fiber (ACF) market. The COVID-19 pandemic adversely affected industries, such as wastewater treatment, air purification, and chemical, thereby significantly impacting the activated carbon fiber market revenue. Water utilities' revenues will be negatively impacted by a decrease in demand from major industrial and commercial users due to lockdowns and travel restrictions in FY2020. For instance, according to the Global Water Leaders Group’s survey, the industrial water demand dropped by an average of 27% due to COVID-19. Moreover, the lockdown in some economies also affected the production and consumption of this product in many industries by creating supply chain and market disruption, owing to which the market was partially hindered.
The report: “Activated Carbon Fiber (ACF) Market – Forecast (2021-2026)”, by IndustryARC, covers an in-depth analysis of the following segments of the activated carbon fiber (ACF) market.
By Raw Material: Synthetic (Pitch-Based, Polyacrylonitrile (PAN)-Based, Phenolic-Based, Viscose Staple-Based, and Others), and Natural (Cotton, Bamboo, and Others)
By Application: Air Purification, Wastewater Treatment, Chemical Separation and Catalysis, Protective Clothing, Super Capacitors, Catalyst Carrier, Biomedical, and Others.
By Geography: North America (USA, Canada, and Mexico), Europe (UK, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Russia, Belgium, and Rest of Europe), Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, Indonesia, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Rest of APAC), South America (Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, and Rest of South America), Rest of the World (Middle East, and Africa)
- North America dominates the activated carbon fiber market. The dominance is attributed to stringent government regulations, the increasing prevalence of CKD, and the growing chemical industry in the region.
- Increasing environmental issues linked to air and water emissions, combined with the superior properties of activated carbon fiber compared to powdered activated carbons (PACs) and granular activated carbons (GACs), are expected to fuel consumer demand during the forecast era.
- Due to their hollow structures, micropores on the surface and wide surface area, the adsorption potential of activated carbon fiber (ACF) is greater. These features make it exceptionally suitable for applications such as water treatment, chemical recovery, and so on.
- In the air purification sector, the activated carbon fiber (ACF) industry is expected to produce promising gains in the coming years as it is commonly used to trap recognized allergens and impurities such as pollen, mold spores, lint, smoke, and other VOC compounds in the sector.
- Business growth is likely to be impacted by issues about its raw materials, such as synthetic fiber (polyacrylonitrile, phenolic resin, and Others), which is non-degradable and appears to bind to molecules of toxic chemical contaminants in wastewater, such as flame retardants and pesticides.
Figure: North America Activated Carbon Fiber Market Revenue, 2020-2026 (US$ Billion)
Activated Carbon Fiber (ACF) Market Segment Analysis – By Raw Material
The synthetic segment held the largest share in the activated carbon fiber (ACF) market in 2020. The synthetic raw materials utilized for the production of activated carbon fiber such as polyacrylonitrile (PAN), phenolic resin, viscose staple, and more possess good tensile strength, heat and flame resistance, durability, strength, stiffness, and more. The polyacrylonitrile (PAN) based activated carbon fiber (ACF) are considered far more resistant to compressive failure than pitch-based counterparts or polymeric high-performance fibers. The material is widely used in a variety of applications, including capacitors, catalysts, and refiguration. Enabled carbon fiber (ACF) market segment growth will be fueled by increasing demand for catalyst carriers and ongoing advances in supercapacitors over the forecast period.
Activated Carbon Fiber (ACF) Market Segment Analysis – By Application
The wastewater treatment segment held the largest share in the activated carbon fiber (ACF) market in 2020 and is growing at a CAGR of 13.7% during 2021-2026. The aerated bioreactor is a promising wastewater treatment technology. Activated carbon fibers (ACF) are used as a biomembrane carrier in wastewater disposal and have attracted much more concern recently. The high modulus polyacrylonitrile (PAN)-based activated carbon fiber (ACF) is widely used as a biomembrane carrier for hard-to-biodegrade industrial organic wastewater treatment disposal. The usage of ACF filters in new water purifiers along with the development of new fibers will further support the activated carbon fiber market growth in the wastewater treatment sector. However, existing activated carbon fiber (ACF) water purifier filter elements have an unqualified pH upgrade, fail to meet sanitary soak standards, and have a low COD removal rate, limiting the demand in the coming years.
Activated Carbon Fiber (ACF) Market Segment Analysis – By Geography
North America region held the largest share in the activated carbon fiber market in 2020 up to 39% and is growing at a CAGR of 15.6% during 2021-2026. The rising demand for wastewater and water treatment in the region is raising the demand for activated carbon fiber. In 2015, California recycled about 714,000 acre-feet of water each year, and it has set ambitious targets to boost water recycling, with at least 1.5 million ac-ft/yr recycled by 2020 and 2.5 million ac-ft/yr recycled by 2030. Water infrastructure in the United States is deteriorating, and investment is falling short of demand. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), If current trends continue, the necessary investment will be US$126 billion by 2020, with an estimated capital funding gap of US$84 billion. Furthermore, unless policies to resolve the funding gap are adopted in the intervening years to change these patterns, the capital expenditure needs would amount to US$195 billion by 2040, and the funding gap would have widened to US$144 billion. In June 2020, it was announced that Mexico could begin the construction of almost 30 wastewater treatment plants 2020, owing to various federal programs aiming at improving water infrastructure and expanding clean water distribution. The increasing demand for wastewater and water treatment in North America is expected to fuel demand for activated carbon fiber (ACF) further in the region during the forecast period.
Activated Carbon Fiber (ACF) Market – Drivers
High Adoption of Activated Carbon Fiber (ACF) for Wastewater Treatment Activities
Increasingly, activated carbon fiber is used for water treatment operations as it can achieve better absorption capacities and rates for toxins of low molecular weight. The substance can also be regenerated quickly, which is another additional advantage consistent with its use in multiple applications. Continuously rising demand for fresh water and its constraining demand have prompted wastewater disposal practices around the world. For instance, in the past 20 years, the amount of renewable water per capita has decreased by 22 percent. Quick industrialization and urbanization practices in developing economies have also culminated in the release of wastewater from factories and households into the atmosphere. As the release of these wastewaters consists of toxic chemicals that seriously impact the atmosphere, its release has a devastating effect on the climate. Thus, this trend will help generate lucrative opportunities for the overall market growth in the forecast timeframe.
Increasing Prevalence of Chronic Kidney Disease is Accelerating the Market Growth
For patients with end-stage renal disease, activated carbon fiber is known to be a viable alternative to dialysis as it binds to urea and other toxins, which helps in reducing the number of waste products that filter through the kidneys. Furthermore, oral activated carbon fiber also effectively delays the onset of hyperphosphatemia in patients with chronic kidney disease. It also delays the development of vascular calcifications in stage 3–4 CKD patients. According to Public Health England, Chronic kidney disease (CKD) stage 3-5 affects 2.6 million people in England aged 16 and up. This equates to 6.1% of the population in this age group. The prevalence of CKD stage 3-5 is projected to rise to 3.2 million people in 2021 and 4.2 million in 2036, based on the current CKD prevalence applied to the aging population. The number of patients has been rising in recent years, owing to which the market of activated carbon fiber (ACF) is projected to be driven during the forecast period.
Activated Carbon Fiber (ACF) Market – Challenges
Raw Material Price Fluctuation
Consumption of activated carbon for gas-phase applications is less than for liquid-phase applications as activated carbons for gas-phase applications are more expensive than those used in liquid-phase applications. Due to the high demand for activated carbon, raw materials such as coconut shell charcoal, which are used in the production of activated carbon, are in short supply. Owing to this, the prices of raw materials have increased. The high cost of activated carbon fiber owing to the fluctuations in the prices of raw materials may impede overall product demand. Thus, although activated carbon fiber is an excellent adsorbent, it is also expensive for adsorption, which is restricting the market growth. However, research is underway to produce carbon by implementing a 70% recycle on the use of phosphoric acid and potassium hydroxide, which plays a significant role in decreasing the price of carbon and then consecutively in decreasing the price of activated carbon fiber. These innovations will create sufficient prospects in the projected spell for the overall stabilization of the activated carbon fiber market in the coming year.
Activated Carbon Fiber (ACF) Market Landscape
Technology launches, acquisitions, and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the Activated Carbon Fiber (ACF) market. Activated Carbon Fiber (ACF) Market top 10 companies are Anshan Sinocarb Carbon Fibers Co. Ltd, Kuraray Co. Ltd, Awa Paper & Technological Company Inc., Toyobo Co. Ltd, Hangzhou Nature Technology Co. Ltd, Evertech Envisafe Ecology Co. Ltd, Jiangsu Tongkang Activated Carbon Fiber (ACF) Co. Ltd, HP Materials Solutions Inc., and Osaka Gas Chemicals Co. Ltd.
- In June 2020, in response to increasing global demand for activated carbon, Kuraray Co., Ltd. announced that its U.S.-based subsidiary, Calgon Carbon Corporation (hereinafter "Calgon Carbon"), has agreed to expand production facilities at its Pearl River Plant in Mississippi, USA.
Report Code: CMR 0054
Report Code: CMR 0053
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