Activated carbon is quite effective at purifying air and water of odors and gases. In fact, this material has made quite a splash in the filter world. You might have seen the term "activated carbon" around the Your Filter Connection website. But what exactly is it, and how does it work?
What Is Activated Carbon?
Also known as activated charcoal, activated carbon is carbon that has been processed so that its surface has many tiny holes called pores. The term "activated" comes from the process that the carbon undergoes, These holes give the carbon a very large surface area, which makes it more durable and able to adsorb gases, odors, and chemicals. They then remain trapped in the carbon until the carbon is disposed of. Activated carbon is therefore very effective in filtering gases, chemicals, and odors out of water and air.
How Is Activated Carbon Made?
Activated carbon can be made from substances that naturally contain a high amount of carbon. Manufacturers create charcoal out of wood, coal, and even nut shells. The material used to create activated carbon can affect its efficiency. Certain materials are better at adsorbing certain gases, chemicals, and odors such as formaldehyde, ammonia, benzene, and VOCs (volatile organic compounds).
Is Activated Carbon Better Than HEPA Filters?
Air filters come in different varieties. Certain air filters are good for trapping particles in the air such as pet dander, dust mites, and pollen. However, activated carbon filters are better suited for trapping microscopic gas and odor particles, making them better suited for this use. That said, most modern air filters have both a HEPA woven material component and an activated carbon component. An environment with a high amount of of chemicals or odors in the air, such as the inside of a refrigerator, could best use an activated carbon filter. Activated carbon can stay effective for up to five years, depending on what is being filtered.
Without activated carbon, many occupations involving harmful gases and strong odors would be much more difficult. At home, activated carbon makes homes more livable by filtering out unpleasant odors and unwanted chemicals from air and water. You can find filters using activated carbon right here on our website.