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Carbon Nanotubes Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Product (Multi Walled Carbon Nanotubes (MWCNT) and Single Walled Carbon Nanotubes (SWCNT)), By Application (Plastics & Composites, Electrical & Electronics, Energy, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2021-2028

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI102700



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The global carbon nanotubes market size was USD 4.94 billion in 2020 and is projected to grow from USD 5.32 billion in 2021 to USD 10.52 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 10.2% during the 2021-2028 period. The sudden rise in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over. The impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with CNT witnessing a negative demand shock across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a decline of 2.2% in 2020 compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2017-2019.

Carbon nanotubes are used in applications that require high strength, electrical conductivity, durability, lightweight properties, and thermal conductivity compared to other conventional materials. Rapid demand from integrated circuits, lithium batteries, fuel cells, drug delivery, solar PV cells, hydrogen storage, and field emission displays. They act as antennas for electromagnetic devices and radios. Conductive CNTs are used in brushes for commercial electric motors as they improve thermal and electrical conductivity as they stretch through the plastic matrix of the brush. Rising commercialization and ramp-up of the installed capacities with advancement in technology to improve the overall product quality and develop more advanced products are the key trends driving the carbon nanotubes market growth.

COVID-19 Outbreak to Temporarily Shutdown the Manufacturing Plants

The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted every region, every business, and every facet of life. China and the U.S. were among the worst-affected countries during the initial wave of the COVID-19 outbreak. Both countries are among the major manufacturers and exporters of carbon nanotubes. Due to pandemic restrictions, manufacturing plants were either functioning at reduced capacity or had to be temporarily shut down, causing supply chain disruption. Additionally, mobility restrictions imposed during the lockdown resulted in logistical challenges, making it difficult to procure raw materials and transport finished products. Trade restrictions imposed by several countries, a limited workforce, and a scarcity of freight containers resulted in an unprecedented scenario that posed challenges for manufacturing and end-use industries. The market is still developing and mostly research-oriented. Pandemic restrictions have affected research activities, hampering development.

Most manufacturing companies have been reported to have rigorously adhered to COVID-19 regulations to protect their employees and keep manufacturing facilities operational. As the global economy began to recover from the pandemic's setbacks and gain traction, the emergence of a new, more contagious delta variant has substantially increased the level of uncertainty in trade activities. The United States is currently facing a substantial surge in COVID cases due to the delta variant. However, because of massive vaccination drives conducted within the country and high public awareness, the impact of rising cases is likely to be less severe than the first wave on trade and industrial operations.


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MIT Engineers Built Modern Microprocessor Out of Carbon Nanotubes

In August 2019, MIT researchers built an advanced microprocessor from transistors, a greener and faster alternative to the traditional silicon counterparts. Producing Carbon Nanotube Field-Effect Transistors (CNFET) for building next-generation computers. Also, research indicates that CNFET will have about ten times more energy efficiency and greater speed than silicon. The researchers in MIT invented a new methodology to restrict the defects and enable full operational control in CNFET fabricating along with the traditional silicon chip foundry methods.


An increase in Aerospace Industry is Expected to Aid Market Growth

Various risks are involved in flying, where most aircraft manufacturers strive to make the aerospace components toucher, longer-lasting, and stronger. The aerospace industry is focusing on reducing weight to reduce fuel consumption and extend aircraft operating costs. A modern and advanced airplane’s fuselage is made from multiple sheets of various composite materials. Nanomaterials are used in the aerospace sector for improved properties, which improve overall aircraft performance. Most of the professionals, including manufacturers and engineers, are developing methods for producing aerospace-grade composites.

For instance, MIT engineers developed a method to produce aerospace-grade composites with huge pressure vessels and ovens. This method will help to speed up the manufacturing of airplanes and blades for wind turbines. Also, NASA and Nanocomp are working together to produce fibers made of these nanotubes to fabricate a CNT Composite Overwrap Pressure Vessel (COPV), which ultimately reduces the mass and improves the overall performance of the aerospace systems. NASA’s computer modeling analysis predicts that composites using reinforcement can lead to a 30% reduction in the total mass of a launch vehicle.

Increasing Electronics & Electrical Demand May Fuel Market Growth

Growing electronics manufacturing in China, South Korea, Japan, and Singapore shall drive industry growth. The increasing electronics industry, mainly in printed circuit boards and semiconductors, has resulted in increased product usage globally. Rapid technology and new product innovation shall foster the demand for the electronics and semiconductors industry.

Carbon nanotubes possess excellent electronic and mechanical properties making them suitable for electronic applications. CNTs find their application in manufacturing a wide range of electronic display screens used in consumer electronics such as television, mobile phones, computers, and other electronic devices. Global consumer electronics market demand amounts to USD 426.1 billion in 2020. Advancement in technology and rapid development in the gaming industry is likely to drive the consumer electronics market demand.


Environmental Concerns May Hinder the Market Growth

Growing concerns over the environmental impact of the CNT have led to strict government regulatory guidelines, mainly for these nanotube manufacturing companies. The agglomerates create potential risks to human beings as well as the environment. As the product is fibrous in nature, inhaled can cause serious health-related issues in humans.

Carbon nanotube toxicity is likely to affect human health, including increased kidney damage and high blood pressure risk. Exposure of humans to nanomaterials and nanoparticles is increasing. Humans are exposed to a number of products that contain nanoparticles such as cosmetics, paints & varnishes, aerospace & automotive components, fuel catalysts, and advanced textiles.


By Product Analysis

Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes Dominated the Overall Market Size

Based on product, the market is segmented into Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes (MWCNT) and Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes (SWCNT).

MWCNT dominated the market and may continue its dominance during the forecast timeframe. They are cylindrically shaped, and hollow carbon allotropes have a high aspect ratio. They are widely used in conductive transparent electrodes, electrical conductivity, conductive heating films, displays, nanodevices, supercapacitors, solar industries, batteries, and others. MWCNT is highly conductive when properly integrated into a composite structure.

Graphene’s high molecular complexity in multi-walled carbon nanotubes increases the tensile strength having wide usage in electronics, energy, and engineered polymers applications. Also, they are fortified in engineered polymers as they dissipate static electricity and increase the repellency towards airborne contamination. It is also used in the biomedical engineering field and is highly researched in biosensing and drug delivery methods for health monitoring and disease treatment.

By Application Analysis

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Plastics & Composites Hold the Major Share in the Market

Based on application, the market is segmented into plastics & composites, electrical & electronics, energy, and others. Plastics & composites may dominate the market during the forecast period owing to its increasing application of engineered polymers in the automotive and construction industries. Increasing composites usage on account of its lightweight property is likely to boost the polymers market demand.

CNTs are materials having chemical and physical properties, and recently, many researchers have been using plastic polymers for producing these nanotubes. When these nanotubes are incorporated in epoxy resins to form nanocomposites, reduced product weight and increased strength are thus obtained.

Carbon nanotubes market from electrical & electronics application may witness significant growth rate during the forecast time period. It offers electrical properties for building electronic devices such as diodes and field-effect transistors. Excellent optoelectronic and good conductivity characteristics may promote the demand for the electrical and electronics segment. The growing importance of energy generation through alternate sources such as wind and solar energy will drive the wind turbine and solar cells market demand. With an increase in demand for wind turbines and solar cells shall drive the growth in this market.


Asia Pacific Carbon Nanotubes Market Size, 2020 (USD Billion)

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Asia Pacific carbon nanotubes market size, driven by China, India, South Korea, and Japan, is expected to account for the major market share during the foreseeable timeframe. The availability of the raw material and low cost of production are the factors supporting the carbon nanomaterials demand in the Chinese market. Increasing demand for automobile, aerospace, electronics, and construction industries in China, India, Malaysia, and Japan is projected to boost polymer demand contributing to industry growth. The rise in government expenditure on producing solar cells with increasing production output of solar power shall augment the regional industry growth.

North American market is projected to witness a significant growth rate during the forecast period as most manufacturers are based in this region. Significant funding for the research of polymers & composites and the manufacturing base of few polymers such as PEI and PEEK, mainly in the U.S. shall foster industry growth in this region. Increasing demand for polymer manufacturing to improve mechanical, thermal, and electrical properties of the bulk product shall boost regional growth. Additionally, regulations imposed by the government to promote green energy is likely to aid the overall growth in the market. Likewise, CNTs were not incorporated in the Canadian government environmental guidelines.

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The European market may witness substantial growth during the forecast timeframe. Most of the countries in Europe are focusing on the CNT’s hazardous effect on the environment and human health. As a result, the European Commission has imposed stringent regulations regarding CNT usage and production along with a wide range of surveys of nanotechnology research, key market development, and innovations are carried out.


Manufacturers Are Joining Forces with Universities in the Form of Collaboration to Boost Market Share and Maintain Their Presence in the Business

The global carbon nanotubes market share is concentrated and competitive in nature with major market players including Arkema SA, Nanocyl, SHOWA DENKO K.K., and Nonoshell LLC. Most of the companies are forming strategies in the form of partnership, collaboration, joint venture, and new product development to enhance their product portfolio and expand their company's global reach. Low business feasibility owing to high manufacturing cost is likely to be a concerning reason for the industrial participants. However, regulatory inclination towards promoting nanotechnology shall be the driving factor for the manufacturers.

  • In January 2019, SABIC acquired a majority stake in Black Diamond Structures (“BDS”), a nanotechnology company. This acquisition will expand the this type of nanotube business for energy storage applications using Li-ion and lead-acid batteries.

  • In August 2017, a nanotechnology composites making company, N12 Technologies, Inc., partnered with the University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI) to produce its NanoStitch interlaminar reinforcement product using UDRI’s production technology.


  • Arkema SA (Colombes, France)

  • Nanocyl SA (Sambreville, Belgium)

  • Nanoshell LLC (Utah, U.S.)

  • Carbon Solutions, Inc. (California, U.S.)

  • Hyperion Catalysis International (Massachusetts, U.S.)

  • SHOWA DENKO K.K. (Tokyo, Japan)

  • Klean Commodities (Vancouver, Canada)

  • Cabot Corporation (Massachusetts, U.S.)

  • OCSiAl (Leudelange, Luxembourg)

  • NoPo Nanotechnologies (Bangalore, India)

  • Jiangsu Cnano Technology Co., Ltd. (Zhenjiang, China)


  • March 2021 - Cabot Corporation launched a new ENERMAX 6 carbon nanotube series. The product is a high-performance CNTs with its high aspect ratio and is proven to be the most conductive multi-walled CNT product in Cabot’s portfolio.

  • April 2021 - LG Chem launched a carbon nanotube manufacturing plant in Korea. The company aims to actively target the growing market for CNTs used as a material for cathodes found within electric vehicle batteries.

  • June 2021 - Johnson Matthey, a sustainable technology company, in collaboration with CPI, an independent technology innovation center, and Thomas Swan, UK’s independent chemical manufacturers, to explore how to optimize battery technology. The ICE-Batt project receives funding support from the Faraday Battery Challenge, managed by Innovate UK. The UK’s innovation agency is likely to enable the investigation of how innovative CNTs and graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) can improve battery performance.

  • April 2020 - Cabot Corporation completed the acquisition of Chinese nanotube maker Shenzhen Sanshun Nano New Materials in USD 115 million. This acquisition will combine both the firm’s business in making nanostructures and carbon blacks for energy storage. The business will be integrated into Cabot’s Performance Chemicals Segment.


An Infographic Representation of Carbon Nanotubes (CNT) Market

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The report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on crucial aspects such as leading companies, products, and applications. Also, the report offers insights into market trends and highlights vital industry developments. This report includes historical data & forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels, and analyzes the industry's latest market dynamics and opportunities. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report encompasses various factors contributing to the market's growth in recent years.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



Value (USD Billion); Volume (Tons)


Product, Application, and Region

By Product

  • Multi walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT)

  • Single walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT)

By Application

  • Plastics & Composites

  • Electrical & Electronics

  • Energy

  • Others

By Region

  • North America (By Product, By Application, By Country)

      • U.S. (By Application)

      • Canada (By Application)

      • Mexico (By Application)

  • Europe (By Product, By Application, By Country)

      • Germany (By Application)

      • U.K. (By Application)

      • France (By Application)

      • Italy (By Application)

      • Rest of Europe (By Application)

  • Asia Pacific (By Product, By Application, By Country)

      • China (By Application)

      • Japan (By Application)

      • India (By Application)

      • South Korea (By Application)

      • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Application)

  • Latin America (By Product, By Application, By Country)

      • Brazil (By Application)

      • Rest of Latin America (By Application)

  • The Middle East & Africa (By Product, By Application, By Country)

      • Saudi Arabia (By Application)

      • South Africa (By Application)

      • Rest of the Middle East & Africa (By Application)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 4.94 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 10.52 billion by 2028.

Growing at a CAGR of 10.2%, the market will exhibit steady growth during the forecast period (2021-2028).

Plastics & composites segment is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.

Growing electronics industry is expected to drive the growth of the market.

Nanocyl SA, Arkema, Cabot Corporation, SHOWA DENKO, Nanoshell LLC are major players in the global market.

Asia Pacific dominated the market share in 2020.

Increasing aerospace industry to reduce vehicle weight in order to reduce fuel consumption and extend aircraft operating cost which is expected to drive the product adoption.

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