Wood activated carbon is manufactured by using co-products formed during the processing of wood as a key raw material. Saw dust, wood chips, wood pellets, wood flour, and other residual materials obtained post wood processing are the key raw materials of wood activated carbon. Initially, the feedstock is crushed and dried. It then undergoes carbonization reaction to yield an amorphous form of carbon. This amorphous carbon is then activated by heating it under elevated temperature conditions in the presence of steam that further yields activated carbon. Wood activated carbon is commercially available in powdered and granulated forms. It is employed as an adsorbent for gas phase and liquid phase applications in various end-user industries such as water treatment, power generation, and food & beverages. Gas adsorption, decolorization, removal of impurities, recovery of organic solvents, and deodorization are some of the important applications of wood activated carbon. Removal of impurities was the dominant application segment of the global wood activated carbon market in 2015.
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Implementation of government regulations for control of airborne mercury emissions from power plants in the U.S. and China is the key driver of the wood activated carbon market. These countries employ activated carbon injection systems as one of the leading technologies. This technology is cost effective and performance efficient; hence, it is widely used for mercury abatement. Enactment of stringent regulations coupled with the incorporation of activated carbon injection system is estimated to boost the demand for wood activated carbon by 2024. However, the wood activated carbon market may be hampered during the forecast period due to the fluctuation in the prices of raw materials. Technological breakthroughs for surface modification of activated carbon and improving adsorption efficiencies are projected to create significant growth opportunities in the global market during the forecast period.
Removal of impurities, gas adsorption, decolorization, and others are the key application segments of the global wood activated carbon market. Other applications include recovery of organic solvents and deodorization. In terms of volume, removal of impurities was the largest application segment of the global wood activated carbon market in 2015. It accounted for above 30% share of the global wood activated carbon market in 2015. Wood activated carbon is used for adsorption and removal of various impurities such as lead and other particulate substances from gas and liquid streams. However, gas adsorption is estimated to be the fastest growing application segment of the wood activated carbon market during the forecast period. Highly porous structure, large surface area, and better adsorption rate are some of the key attributes of wood activated carbon that make it suitable for usage in gas adsorption applications.
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In terms of regional demand, Asia Pacific is likely to hold the largest share of the wood activated carbon market, followed by North America, during the forecast period. The wood activated carbon market is estimated to expand at a fast rate in Asia Pacific due to the rise in usage of these carbons in the water treatment industry. However, North America is estimated to be the fastest growing region by the end of the forecast period. Establishment of targets to control the hazardous airborne emissions in the region is the key factor expected to propel the market during the forecast period. Middle East & Africa is estimated to experience similar scenario in terms of demand due to the increase in the number of issues related to water sanitation and health & hygiene, especially in South Africa. Latin America is projected to be an emerging market for wood activated carbon, especially in Brazil, during the forecast period. Europe is likely to experience slow growth in the market during the forecast period due to the saturation of end-user industries, especially in Germany and the U.K.
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Key global manufacturers of wood activated carbon include Cabot Corporation, Calgon Carbon Corporation, Carbo Tech AC GmbH, Carbon Activated Corporation, CECA SA, Donau Chemie AG, Fujian Zhixing Activated Carbon Co, Ltd., Ingevity Corporation, Kuraray Chemical Corporation Ltd., Osaka Gas Chemicals Co. Ltd., Oxbow Activated Carbon LLC, and Zhejiang Xingda Activated Carbon Co., Ltd.
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