GCC Activated Carbon Market

GCC Market Study on Activated Carbon: Fostering Adoption in Environmental Purification Procedures Assists Growth

Gulf Cooperation Council Activated Carbon Market Analysis and Review By Form (Granular, Powdered, Pelletized and Others)

Report ID: PMRREP31354

Number of Pages: 197

Format: PPT*, PDF, EXCEL

Industry: Chemicals and Materials

Published Date: January-2023

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Market Snapshot

Demand for activated carbon in Gulf Cooperation Council countries is estimated to cross a volume of 67,000 tons in the year 2023. Consumption of activated carbon is expected to grow with a CAGR of 7.1% during the forecast period in terms of value. Water treatment plants and air purification plants in these countries to remain key consumer of activated carbon. Oil and gas industry significant presence in predominantly influencing the demand generation in Gulf Cooperation Council countries.

Activated Carbon Market Size (2022A)

US$ 133.9 Million

Estimated Market Size (2023E)

US$ 144.5 Million

Projected Market Value (2033F)

US$ 286.9 Million

Value CAGR (2023 – 2033)


Collective Share: Top 2 Countries (2023E)


Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates are the key market for activated carbon, owing to growth in the industrial sector and oil and gas industries. Key application of activated carbon as adsorbent is fueling the demand as adsorbents are significantly used in oil and gas industry and in the amine units for hydrogen sulfide and CO2 removal from hydrocarbon steams. With substantial growth potential of the market, key manufacturers are expanding their sales towards Gulf Cooperation Council member states to cater the demand.

Activated carbon consumption is expected to account for around 17% of the adsorbents demand.

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Demand Analysis of Activated Carbon in the historical period (2018 – 2022) Vs. Market Forecasts during the projected period (2023 – 2033)

Market of activated carbon witness a growth rate of 6.3% over the historical period of 2018 and 2022, whereby, as per the current estimates, demand for activated carbon to witness a growth rate of 7.1% over the recent forecast period of 2023 and 2033. A certain dip in the historical growth outlook was result of impact on the key end use industries in the Gulf Cooperation Council member states during the pandemic crisis, where significant drop in the demand for oil and gas industry resulted in substantial reduction in consumption in 2020.

Gulf Cooperation Council water treatment market is estimated to be valued at around US$ 48.0 Bn in 2022. Water treatment is a key application for activated carbon in terms of volume as well as value. Growing number of desalination plants along with increasing government initiatives towards the wastewater treatment are assisting the growth of water treatment market in this region.

With rise in the demand for oil and gas from Gulf Cooperation Council countries owing to sanctions and price cap over Russia for oil and natural gas resulted in demand for activated carbon in the manufacturing industries which also trigger the demand outlook over the forecast period.

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How demand for air filtration is propelling the market growth outlook?

Industrialization along with rising number of coal-fired power plants are raising levels of air pollution. Predominant part of the population faces adversities owing to pollution, as they reside in places with compromised air quality, which in turn deteriorates health. Stringent regulations imposed by governments are augmenting the demand for air filtration procedures.

Coal-fired power plants are prominent area of application for air filtration, as these plants emit carbon at a high level. This ultimately mandates the requirement for air purification, in turn boosting the demand for activated carbon, as activated carbon is used for air filtration processes. Gulf Cooperation Council members have initiated implementation of measures for control of emissions, which is also fueling the demand for activated carbon in the region.

Petroleum, manufacturing, and chemical plants also require air treatment processes to control emissions. Industrial air treatment by using activate carbon is an efficient technology for removal of VOCs from air, which is driving the demand for activated carbon. Backing these factors, the activated carbon market is anticipated to continue to grow in the coming years.

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What are the predominant factors benefiting growth of the market?

Activated carbon has a wide scope in terms of application. It is primarily used in water and wastewater treatment, air purification, recovery of precious metals, and industrial processes. Among these, the demand for water and wastewater treatment is increasing day by day. Several key players in the market produce raw materials, and manufacture activated carbon along with providing application services.

The porous structure and versatility of activated carbon makes it a popular adsorbent choice. Environmental regulations regarding water and air pollution have grown more severe and gained momentum over the years. This is likely to augment the demand for activated carbon in the near future, as it acts as an adsorbent.

What are the renewable sources for the production of activated carbon?

The chemical induced method for activated carbon development is widely applied owing to its ability to manufacture activated carbon under a variety of processing conditions, with a wide range of triggering agents. The option available for the production of carbon from crop residues, agricultural waste, as feedstock, for the thermochemical processing of high-grade carbon followed by its activation requires inventive approaches and is gradually being adopted by key market players.

Production of activated carbon from agricultural waste biomass is preferred over conventional methods, in particular with respect to energy savings and cycle duration. This production technology on a commercial or near-commercial scale remains pressing. Market participants are investing into this technology for better productivity of activated carbon.

Country-wise Insights

What is the market scenario in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia?

Strong presence of water treatment plants, petrochemical plants and air purification system is bolstering the demand generation in Saudi Arabia. Consumption of activated carbon in Saudi Arabia is expected to account for more than 38.3% of the overall demand in Gulf Cooperation Council countries. Divergence of the revenue generation from oil and gas industry to medical, food and beverages, air purification, water treatment and other industrial sector to augment the economic growth of the country in the coming years.

Focusing on reducing emission from the industrial sectors and introducing of norms and standards for emissions to propel the demand for activated carbon in the country. With substantial potential in the key end use industrial sector, key market players are expected to focus on their sales in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to cater the demand generation.

Why the demand of activated carbon is surging in United Arab Emirates?

Manufacturing sector is the second largest economic contributor of United Arab Emirates, with food and beverages, plastics and rubber, chemicals, minerals, etc. accounting for a predominant share in the manufacturing value added. With significant growth in the manufacturing sector in the country along with ease of doing business and building of supply chain cluster in the country is expected to influence the demand outlook for activated carbon.

Activated carbon market in United Arab Emirates is estimated to gain 100 bps points in the market share in the Gulf Cooperation Council with certain loss of bps in Bahrain and Oman. Increase in the basis point share is attributed by higher growth in the key end use industries like water treatment, air purification, food and beverages and others as compare to other countries.

Category Wise Insights

Which form of activated carbon are preferred by the key end use industries?

Granular and powdered form of activated charcoal are key segments in the market, where granular form segment has been projected to account for around 45% market share by the end of the forecast period gaining a basis point share of 120 points.

Granular activated carbon is made from raw materials such as wood, lignite, and coal. Primary characteristics that differentiate granular form from the powdered form is particle size, diameter of granular activated carbon ranges from 1.2mm to 1.6mm.

Rise in the demand for air purification and significant investment in air purifying sector to create ample opportunities for the market of activated charcoal over the forecast period. Granulated form is predominantly used for adsorption of gases and vapours, which will influence the demand outlook for the segment by the key end use industries.

Which are key applications of activated carbon?

Adsorbents are significantly used in water treatment owing to its cost-effectiveness as compare to other water treatment media, where activated carbon being preferred as an adsorbent owing to its low cost nature and production of the material from renewable sources. Water treatment segment accounts for around 31.5% of the overall consumption of this type of adsorbent in the region.

Air purification segment is anticipated to remain one of the fastest growing application segment owing to strong demand for reducing emissions across the region. Activated carbon is used to reduce organic content from the gas stream of industrial air emissions, gas process streams, and storage tank vents, etc. With diverse applications coverage of activated carbon in the air purification segment along with significant investments in the sector to augment the market growth outlook over the coming years.

 Competitive Landscape

The market of activated carbon is estimated to be oligopolistic in nature with more than 40% of the demand share are meet by key manufacturers. To increase the market share and dominance over the region, key players are expanding their sales footprint and are strengthening their distribution network to expand their sales volume. To gain momentum in through pricing strategy, key players are acquiring China based players to provide cost-effective material and to bolster their sales volume.

For instance,

  • In October 2018, Cabot Corporation acquired NSCC Carbon (Jiangsu) Co., Ltd. from Nippon Steel Carbon Co., Ltd. This manufacturing unit manufactures carbon black in Pizhou, Jiangsu Province, China, and started its operation in 2015. The purification solutions of Cabot Corporation's speciality carbons product line is expected to benefit from the 50,000 metric ton plant.
  • In January 2020, a China based subsidiary of Cabot Corporation announced acquisition of Shenzhen Sanshun Nano New Materials Co., Ltd. for around 115 million dollar, one of the key manufacturer of carbon nanotube in China.

Activated Carbon Market Report Scope



Forecast Period

2023 to 2033

Historical Data Available for

2018 to 2022

Market Analysis

  • US$ Million for Value
  • Tons for Volume

Key Countries Covered

  • Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Kuwait
  • Qatar
  • Oman
  • Bahrain

Key Segments Covered

  • By Type
  • By Application
  • By Country

Key Companies Profiled

  • Cabot Corporation
  • Donau Carbon GmbH
  • Calgon Carbon Corporation
  • Fujairah Chemical
  • NTC Dubai
  • DUBI CHEM Marine International
  • Veolia Water SA
  • Carbon Activated Corporation

Report Coverage

  • Macro-economic Factors
  • Market Forecast
  • Company Share Analysis
  • Competition Intelligence
  • Key Developments
  • Industry Trends
  • Market Dynamics and Challenges
  • Strategic Growth Initiatives

Customization & Pricing

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Global Activated Carbon Market by Category

By Form, the market has been segregated as:

  • Granular
  • Powdered
  • Pelletized
  • Others

By Application, the market has been subdivided into:

  • Liquid Phase
    • Food & beverage
    • Water Treatment
    • Medical & Pharmaceuticals
    • Mining
    • Petrochemical
  • Gas Phase
    • Industrial air purification
    • Automotive & Transportation
    • Solvent Recovery
    • Others (Gold metal, Catalyst)

By Country, the market is segmented as:

  • Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Kuwait
  • Qatar
  • Oman
  • Bahrain

For report customisation and delivery information contact our sales representative.

Companies Covered in This Report

  • Cabot Cooperation
  • Donau Carbon GmbH
  • Calgon Carbon Cooperation
  • Fujairah Chemical
  • NTC Dubai
  • DUBI CHEM Marine International
  • Veolia Water SA
  • Carbon Activated Cooperation

Frequently Asked Questions

Activated carbon market is estimated to reach a value of US$ 133.9 million by 2023 end.

Market size of activated carbon is projected to reach US$ 286.9 million by the end of 2033.

Cabot Corporation, JACOBI CARBONS GROUP, Donau Carbon GmbH, Fujairah Chemical, Calgon Carbon Corporation, NTC Dubai and DUBI CHEM Marine International and others are some of the key market players. Together these players has been estimated to account for around 40% of the overall market share.

Activated carbon demand is estimated to witness a growth rate of 6.3% over the historical period of 2018 and 2022.

Air purification is expected to remain one of the fastest growing segment by application type and the segment is estimated to grow with 8.2% CAGR in between 2023 and 2033.

Granular form to remain a prominent segment in the form type in the market accounting for more than 45% of the overall share.

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