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Activated Carbon Fiber (ACF) Market Size, Share and Industry Analysis Report by Material (Cellulose Based, Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) Based, Phenolic Resin Based, Pitch Based) and Application (Air Purification, Water Treatment, Chemical Recovery, Catalyst Carrier), Regional Outlook, Growth Potential, Competitive Market Share & Forecast, 2021 - 2027

  • Report ID: GMI4360
  • Base Year: 20
  • Report Format: PDF

Industry Trends

Activated Carbon Fiber (ACF) Market size was valued at USD 922.9 million in 2020 and will showcase growth rate around 6.8% CAGR from the period 2021 to 2027 owing to rising environmental concerns related to water and air pollution across the globe. ACF is a fiber-shaped porous carbon with aspect ratio higher than 10. It is an excellent microporous material and has low mesoporosity.

Activated Carbon Fiber Market Outlook

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Rising air pollution across the globe and several initiatives taken by regional economies to overcome air pollution issues are expected to drive the global activated carbon fiber market share. The ACF has excellent nitrogen oxide removal capacity. The material inherently oxidizes NOx to convert into nitrate ions and desorb them into clean air.

Emerging economies across the globe, such as Indonesia, India, and others, are experiencing high concentration of NOx and air pollutants in the city areas. This has resulted into high number of Asthma patients in the regions. The pilot projects, such as NOx reduction, started in September 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia. The highways of Jakarta city are equipped with activated carbon fiber air purification units. The project reported measurable reduction in NOx concentration in the air.

Excellent properties of activated carbon fiber, such as greater rates of adsorption, owing to improved contact efficiency and high surface area are enabling it to be good substitutes for Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) in adsorbent applications. GAC and Powdered Activated Carbon (PAC) are conventionally used as absorbents in air and water purification treatment. However, GAC has certain limitations such as slow kinetics, costly reactivation, and limited design flexibility, pressurizing researchers to develop new technologies. ACFs are emerging as a new technology and may offer the potential to be used in short-term respiratory protection for first responders.

The rapid growth in the wastewater treatment industry is one of the major factors driving the activated carbon fiber market. Growing water scarcity is likely to boost the demand for water treatment in Asia Pacific and North America regions. Furthermore, the rising air pollution and GHG emissions are projected to spur the demand for air purification, thereby, propelling the usage of ACFs in air purifiers, filters, and other products.

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, such as China, India, the U.S., Brazil, Italy, Spain, France, and the UK, has also affected the production and consumption of this product in many industries.

Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) based ACF dominates market owing to good strength and proliferating supercapacitor sector

ACF Market by Material

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Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) based ACF will showcase significant growth of around 7.5% CAGR through 2027 owing to good tensile strength of the material. PAN is a synthetic thermoplastic semi-crystalline polymer. The production of PAN-based ACF comprises three steps, thermo-oxidative stabilization, carbonization, and controlled activation process. The material is largely used in applications including capacitor, catalyst, refiguration, and other applications. The rising demand for catalyst carriers along with ongoing developments in super capacitors will further drive the activated carbon fiber market growth over the study timeframe.

Rising health concern and start of several water treatment projects across globe are supporting product adoption

ACF Market by Application

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Water treatment applications hold dominance in the industry and expected to generate over USD 525 million revenue by 2027 owing to stringent government regulations along with rising health concern among people. The usage of ACF filters in new water purifiers along with the development of new fibers will further support the activated carbon fiber market.

Several ongoing pilot projects developed by universities and industry participants are offering new opportunities for industry expansion. For instance, in April 2017, Zhejiang Xin Ball Technology Development Co. Ltd. and Beijing University jointly launched a wastewater purification technology development project. The project is using PAN-based ACF for water treatment.

North America industry will drive the market

ACF Market by Region

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North America is expected to hold dominance in the activated carbon fiber market and held around 34% volumetric shares in 2020. The dominance is attributed to stringent government regulations, presence of industry participants, along with establishment of new passenger car production facilities in the region. The growing chemical industry in the region along with the rising number of people suffering from Chronic Kidney Decease (CKD) is expected to drive the demand for ACF products.

Asia Pacific is the major producer of ACF across the globe and expected to generate around USD 270 million revenue in 2020. The region has witnessed a high demand for activated carbon fiber products in the recent years owing to stringent air pollution regulations adopted by China, India, and other regional economies. Latin America and the MEA exhibit low to moderate growth owing to a limited distribution network in the region along with high import tax policies.

R&D investment and integration with several environment saving pilot projects are among key initiatives for enhancing competitiveness of industry

Key players engaged in the activated carbon fiber industry include Mitsubishi Rayon, Toyobo Co. Ltd., Awa Paper & Technological Company Inc., Osaka Gas Chemicals Co., Ltd., and Unitika Ltd., among others. Industry plyers are engaged in strategic collaboration, R&D investments, integration with several environment saving pilot projects among others to enhance their market shares.

For instance, In October 2018, Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. through its subsidiary, Osaka Gas Engineering Co., Ltd. started JICA adopted project in Indonesia. In this project, roadsides of Jakarta city have established ACF air purification units to limit NOx concentration and enhance air quality. This strategy enabled the company to enhance ACF product awareness for air purification applications.

The activated carbon fiber market report includes in-depth coverage of the industry with estimates & forecast in terms of volume in tons & revenue in USD million from 2021 to 2027 for the following segments:

By Material

  • Cellulose based
  • Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) based
  • Phenolic resin based
  • Pitch based
  • Others

By Application

  • Air Purification
  • Water Treatment
  • Chemical Recovery
  • Catalyst Carrier
  • Others

By Region

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
  • Europe
    • UK
    • Germany
    • France
    • Italy
    • Spain
    • Russia
  • Asia pacific
    • China
    • India
    • Japan
    • Australia
    • Indonesia
    • South Kore
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Mexico
  • Middle East & Africa
    • South Africa
    • Saudi Arabia
    • UAE


Authors: Kiran Pulidindi, Sayan Mukherjee

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) :

The global market for ACF is slated to surpass USD 1.4 billion by 2027 and is projected to expand at a robust CAGR of 6.8% between 2021-2027.

The polyacrylonitrile based ACF is anticipated to witness 7.5% CAGR up to 2027 due to the good tensile strength offered by the material.

The market share from water treatment applications is expected to reach over USD 525 million by 2027 with increasing concerns worldwide regarding health issues.

North America region accounted for around 34% share of the global ACF market during 2020 and will expand with strict regulations and rising prevalence of chronic kidney disease patients.

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Premium Report Details

  • Published Date: Feb 2021
  • Companies covered: 15
  • Tables & Figures: 194
  • Countries covered: 19
  • Pages: 188

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