Browse Tag by activated carbon
Matter and energy

Activated Carbon Filter Guidelines

Activated carbon filter

AC filters have a limited lifetime. Eventually, the surface of the AC becomes filled with adsorbed pollutants, and no further treatment occurs. ‘’Break-through” takes place when pollutants break through the filter and emerge in the treated water. When it happens, contaminant concentrations in the treated water can possibly be even higher than those in the untreated water. The cartridge then needs to be replaced. Knowing when breakthrough will occur and when to replace the cartridge is thus a major problem with AC treatment.

Unfortunately, unless the pollutants are smelled or tasted, they can be unknowingly consumed. In most cases, break-through can be positively verified only by chemical testing. Frequent chemical testing is impractical and expensive. Some cartridges are sold with predictions about their longevity. But these are generally only crude estimates since they do not consider the characteristics of a specific water source.

The retailer from whom you purchase the treatment device can better estimate a filter’s useful lifetime based on water usage (flow rate) and pollutant concentrations, shown in the chemical analysis. To make the most accurate estimates, you should learn what these amounts are before purchasing the system. If pollutant concentrations increase over time, and without testing done to reveal the change, such estimates may not be very practical or useful.

AC filters can be excellent places for bacteria to grow. A filter saturated with organic contaminants, or one that has not been used for a long time, provides ideal conditions for bacterial growth. A saturated filter supplies the food source for the bacteria. It is still unclear whether bacteria growing on the carbon pose a health threat. Some manufacturers place silver in the AC to prevent bacterial growth. The effectiveness of the silver has not been independently verified. In addition, the silver may contaminate the drinking water.

Matter and energy

What else can we do with coconut shells? Activated carbon.


We all like coconuts. But how much do we know about its shells? They are indeed biomass waste and if treated properly, can be very sustainable products.

Like its name, coconut shell activated carbon comes from the coconut shell. To create its activated carbon form, the coconut undergoes a steam activation process. During activation, it creates millions of pores at the surface of the carbon thus increasing the total surface area. Coconut shell carbon has mainly micro-pores to meso-pores and due to its unique distribution of pore diameter; coconut shell activated carbons are very popular in the gas phase purification and potable water purification industries.

Activated carbon manufactured from coconut shell is considered superior to those obtained from other sources, such as wood, coal or peat. This is mainly because of the small macropores structure which renders it more effective for the adsorption of gas/vapour and for the removal of colour and odour of compounds. Indeed, coconut activated carbon has higher iodine number that gives it better adsorption ability for molecules.

The activated carbon is extensively used in the refining and bleaching of vegetable oils and chemical solutions, water purification, recovery of solvents and other vapours, recovery of gold, in gas masks for protection against toxic gases, in filters for providing adequate protection against war gases/nuclear fall outs, etc.

Although steam activation and chemical activation are the two commonly used processes for the manufacture of activated carbon, coconut shell based activated carbon units are adopting the steam activation process to produce good quality activated carbon.

Matter and energy

Carbon FAQs – What raw materials can be used to made carbon?


Basically, any carbonaceous material can potentially be activated.  The common raw materials include, for example, wood (soft & hard), coal, coconut shells, peats and others. Since activated carbon is manufactured from naturally occurring raw materials, its properties will vary. It is necessary to understand the nature of these raw materials, if you would want to purchase carbon for whatever your purpose.

Wood may be activated by one of two methods, i.e. steam or chemical activation, depending on the desired product. The carbon is usually supplied as a finely divided powder which since produced from waste materials such as sawdust, is relatively cheap and can be used on a “throw-away” basis.

Coal is also a readily available and reasonably cheap raw material. The type of activate obtained depends on the type of coal used and its initial processing prior to carbonisation and activation. It is normal procedure to grind the coal and reconstitute it into a form suitable for processing, by use of a binder such as pitch, before activation. Generally, coal contains bigger pores that make it a fairly well adsorbent for gas and air application.

Coconut shell is another common type of raw materials. It contains about 75% volatile matter that is removed largely by partial carbonisation, to minimise shipping costs. The iodine number is high of coconut based carbon, which indicates a higher adsorption capability for molecules. The ash content is normally low and the hardness is relatively higher that makes the carbon hard to breakdown in water. Because of these features, coconut-carbon is a very good filter media for water, beverage and air industries to produce cleaner liquid and air.

Find more about charcoal made from coconut shells

Matter and energy

Activated Carbon and Air Filters


Activated carbon is carbon that has been treated with oxygen. After the treatment, millions of tiny pores are activated on the carbon’s surface. Amazingly, these pores are so numerous that a single pound of activated carbon may provide 60 to 150 acres of surface area to trap pollutants.

Once carbon has been activated, it can remove a bunch of airborne chemicals, for example, alcohols, organic acids, aldehydes, sulfur dioxide, sulfuric acid, and phosgene. It also removes odours, whether they are from humans or animals. It also removes perfumes, other household cleaning chemicals, and is especially good at removing volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Activated Carbon and Filters

Activated carbon filters will adsorb even a small amount of almost all vapours and they have a large capacity for removing organic molecules like solvents. They can also simultaneously adsorb many different kinds of chemicals, making these filters very efficient. Activated carbon is very durable and non-toxic, so it can work in any temperature or humidity. These make it’s safe for people to handle. As an extra bonus, activated carbon is also relatively affordable.

The trick lies on adsorption – the process by which a gas bonds to the surface of a solid. In this case, the solid is the activated carbon. Air passes through the filter where airborne gases, chemicals, and odours produce chemical reactions with the surface of the carbon, effectively sticking to it. The clean air then flows out of the filter.

Activated carbon filters is analogous to a sponge. The more activated carbon in the filter, the more pollutants it can hold and the longer the filter lasts. The best and the most efficient filters include many pounds of activated carbon to ensure a longer life before the next replacement.

Need some fresh and clean air at home? It’s time to put a good activated carbon filter at your home.

Matter and energy

The Best Solution for Your Water Problem

water drop and green leaf

Ever suspected your water quality? It looks yellowish? It happens to smell like steel? Or it even contains some “unknown” substances? Then you tired different methods to clean the water but nothing worked. What’s the problem?

Indeed, the practicalsolutions to your contaminated drinking water problem are to stop the practices causing the contamination or to change water sources. While changing water sources can be hard or even impossible sometimes, stopping the particles becomes the best solution.

Try Activated Carbon (AC). AC is not necessarily the same as carbon. AC is a black, solid substance resembling granular or powdered charcoal. It is extremely porous with a very large surface area. One ounce of AC has an estimated 30,000 square yards of surface area. Thus, AC removes far more contaminants from water than does of ordinary carbon.

Activated Carbon (AC) filters can remove many organic compounds, such as chlorinated and non-chlorinated solvents. They can also effectively remove chlorine and is moderately effective in removing some heavy metals. Meanwhile, AC can also remove taste and odours in your domestic water treatment systems.

Today, home water treatment using AC is among the best and popular optioused by people with a drinking water quality problem. Your selection of an AC filter should be based upon water analysis and a thorough assessment of your homeowner’s situation. A well-informed decision is always your best insurance for protecting health.