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Carbon Nanotubes (CNT) Market Size, Share & Industry 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, 2019-2026

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



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The global carbon nanotubes market size was valued at USD 4.56 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 13.65 billion by 2026, exhibiting a CAGR of 15.3% during the forecast period.

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Carbon nanotubes (CNT) are cylindrical molecules consisting of rolled-up sheets of single-layer carbon atoms, namely, graphene. Carbon nanotubes are used in applications that require high strength, electrical conductivity, durability, lightweight properties, and thermal conductivity as compared to other conventional materials. Rapid demand for CNT in integrated circuits, lithium batteries, fuel cells, drug delivery, solar PV cells, hydrogen storage, and field emission displays is contributing to market growth. They act as antennas for electromagnetic devices and radios. Conductive carbon nanotubes are used in brushes for commercial electric motors as they improve thermal and electrical conductivity. It occurs as they stretch through the plastic matrix of the brush. Rising commercialization, technological advancements to improve the overall product quality, and the development of more advanced products are the key trends driving the market.


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MIT Engineers to Build Modern Microprocessor Out of Carbon Nanotubes

In August 2019, MIT researchers built an advanced microprocessor from CNT transistors, which is a greener and faster alternative to the traditional silicon counterparts. Also, research indicates that carbon nanotube field-effect transistors (CNFET) will have about 10 times more energy efficiency and greater speed as compared to silicon. The researchers at MIT invented a new methodology to restrict the defects and to enable the full operational control in CNFET fabricating along with the traditional silicon chip foundry methods.


Increase in the Aerospace Industry is Expected to Aid Market Growth for Carbon Nanotubes

Various risks are involved in flying, where most of the aircraft manufacturers are striving to make the aerospace components tougher, long-lasting, and stronger. The aerospace industry is focusing on reducing the weight of the components to lower 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 enhance the 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 carbon nanotube 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 CNT reinforcement can lead to a 30% reduction in the total mass of a launch vehicle.

Increasing Electronics & Electrical Demand May Fuel Carbon Nanotubes 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 the rising usage of CNT globally. Rapid technological transformations and new product innovation shall foster the demand for the electronics and semiconductors industry. Carbon nanotubes possess excellent electronic and mechanical properties making it suitable for electronic applications. CNTs find their application in the manufacturing of a wide range of electronic display screens used in various consumer electronics such as television, mobile phones, computers, and other electronic devices. The global consumer electronics market demand is set to reach USD 426.1 billion in 2020. Advancement in technology, along with rapid development in the gaming industry is likely to drive the consumer electronics market demand.


Environmental Concern May Hinder Market Growth

Growing concerns over the environmental impact of CNT have led to strict government regulatory guidelines, mainly for the CNT manufacturing companies. CNT agglomerates create potential risks to human beings as well the environment. As the product is fibrous, if inhaled, can cause some serious health-related issues in humans. Carbon nanotube’s toxicity is likely to affect human health which includes increased kidney damage and high blood pressure risk. Exposure of humans to nanomaterials and nanoparticles is increasing. Humans are exposed to several products available in the market which contain nanoparticles such as cosmetics, paints & varnishes, aerospace & automotive components, fuel catalysts, and advanced textiles.


By Product Analysis

Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes Segment Dominated the Overall Market Size

Based on the product, the CNT market is segmented into multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) and single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT). The multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) segment dominated the market and may continue its dominance during the forecast timeframe. MWCNT are cylindrically shaped and hollow carbon allotropes having 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 are highly conductive when properly integrated into a composite structures. Graphene’s high molecular complexity in multi-walled CNT 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 repellency towards airborne contamination. MWCNT is also used in the biomedical engineering field and is highly researched in the field of biosensing and drug delivery methods for health monitoring and disease treatment.

By Application Analysis

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Plastics & Composites Segment Hold the Major Share in the Carbon Nanotubes Market

Based on application, the carbon nanotubes market is segmented into plastics & composites, electrical & electronics, energy, and others. The plastics & composites segment may dominate the market during the forecast period owing to its increasing application in engineered polymers within the automotive and construction industries. Increasing usage of composites 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 started using plastic polymers for CNT production. When CNTs are incorporated in epoxy resins to form nanocomposites, reduced product weight and increased strength are thus obtained.

The carbon nanotubes market demand from electrical & electronics applications may exhibit a significant growth rate during the forecast period. CNT 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.


North America Carbon Nanotubes Market Size, 2018 (USD Million)

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North America CNT market size was valued at USD 1,278.7 million in 2018 as most of the manufacturers are based in this region. Significant funding for the research of polymers & composites along with the manufacturing base of few polymers such as PEI and PEEK mainly in the U.S. shall foster the 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 are likely to aid the overall growth in the CNT market. Likewise, CNTs were not incorporated in the Canadian government environmental guidelines.

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

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

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 CNT production technology. Also, in November 2013, Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) collaborated with the U.K.'s Cambridge University scientists to produce high-grade graphene and carbon nanotubes.

The global market share is concentrated and competitive with major 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 March 2021, Cabot Corporation launched a new ENERMAX 6 carbon nanotube (CNT) 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.

  • In April 2021, LG Chem launched a carbon nanotube (CNT) 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.

  • In 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 carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) can improve battery performance.

  • In 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.


The carbon nanotubes market report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects such as leading companies, products, and leading applications of the products. Besides this, the report offers insights into the market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the aforementioned factors, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the growth of the market over recent years.

An Infographic Representation of Carbon Nanotubes (CNT) Market

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Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



  Value (USD Million) Volume (Tons)


By Product

  • Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT)

  • Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT)

By Application

  • Plastics & Composites

  • Electrical & Electronics

  • Energy

  • Others

By Geography

  • North America (U.S. and Canada)

  • Europe (Germany, France, UK, Italy, and Rest of Europe)

  • Asia-Pacific (China, India, Japan, South Korea, and Rest of Asia- Pacific)

  • Latin America (Brazil, Argentina, and Rest of Latin America)

  • Middle East & Africa (South Africa, and Rest of the Middle East & Africa)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 4.56 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 13.65 billion by 2026.

Growing at a CAGR of 15.3%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2019-2026).

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

The growing electronics industry is the key factor driving the market.

Nanocyl SA is the leading player in the global market.

Asia Pacific dominated the market share in 2018.

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Carbon Nanotubes (CNT) Market Size, Share and Global Industry Trend Forecast till 2026
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