Browse Tag by carbon
Matter and energy

Centralized vs. Point of Use Treatment


Drinking water treatment can be accomplished either in centralized water treatment facilities or at individual homes or businesses.

In large cities, water treatment facilities treat large volumes of water intended for residential, business, and industrial uses. While the technologies may be fairly standard, such a system may have a host of infrastructure, such as filters, chemical storage, pumps, piping, valves, electrical equipment, and instrumentation. Initial cost is typically high. They may also require water source development, construction of infrastructure, and adoption of a system to distribute the water to consumers. In most developing countries, these systems may be financially out of reach for smaller or poorer communities.

Smaller communities can reduce costs by using pre-engineered “package plants.” Most package plants designed to provide water filtration are typically not equipped for disinfection, corrosion control, or adsorption of organic contaminants by granular activated carbon.

Where community treatment plants are not available or are not trustworthy, water treatment becomes a more individual choice. Point-of-use and point-of-entry water treatment systems are widely used in individual homes and businesses. In poorer areas, where there are significant deficiencies in financial resources and technical skills, point-of-use and point-of-entry may be the only treatment options. Point-of-use systems are typically installed where water is used for drinking and cooking, such as on the kitchen faucet. Point-of-entry systems, in contrast, are installed where water enters a building and treat all water to be used for any purpose at that location. Systems exist that can treat a number of contaminants including primarily aesthetic concerns (e.g., color and odor).

Matter and energy

Vapor Phase Granular Activated Carbon

granullar activated charcoal

Vapor phase Granular Activated Charcoal (GAC) is a treatment technology that removes contaminants from air. Contaminated air is passed through one or more vessels containing GAC. Contaminants stay onto the surfaces of the activated carbon grains. The thermal processing of carbon, often from coconut shells, creates small porous particles with a large internal surface area. This processing activates the carbon. The activated carbon attracts and adsorbs organic molecules as well as certain metal and inorganic molecules. When the concentration of contaminants in the vapor exceeds a certain level, the carbon must be replaced.


Limitations and Concerns

  • Some degradation products such as vinyl chloride and smaller molecules are not sorbed well, and consequently must be monitored carefully.
  • All spent carbon eventually needs to be disposed in landfills or regenerated. There are few regeneration facilities.
  • The carbon used for some contaminants (g.,metals) can not be regenerated.
  • Relative humidity greater than 50% can reduce carbon capacity
  • Some compounds, such as ketones, may cause carbon bed fires because they release heat upon adsorption.



This technology is used to treat off-gas contaminats with VOCs and some fuels.

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.


A Survival Water Filter – Part 2


The third and most important item is the charcoal. This is the part of the filter that removes the most impurities from the water. In order to get charcoal in the wild, you must make it yourself. The first step in making charcoal is building a fire. Once you have your fire, put one large log on the fire and wait until the log is totally burned but has not turned into ash. Using another stick, take the burn pieces of charcoal off of the log. Keep these pieces safe until the building process.

The next materials include stones and gravel. If you are in an area that does not have sand, then do not waste your time looking for it because it is not the most important part of the filter. You only need about a handful off each of these materials. The last material is a type of cloth. Although it is not found in the wild, cloth may be the easiest item to retrieve on this list.

After collecting the materials, we can start build the filter. It is actually very simple and easy. The first thing that you should do is roll the bark into a cone and use your knife to poke a hole through the overlapping part. String the leaf or branch that you picked earlier through the hole and tie off the end using a square knot.

Now, take your pieces of charcoal and put them in the center of the piece of cloth you have. Now bring all the corners of the cloth together so the charcoal sits in the bottom. Now, covering the charcoal, use your hand to smash it into a powder. Put the part with charcoal into the cone and spread out the corners so you can see the charcoal.

Pile on the gravel and then the rocks and your filter is set to go.

After that, boil the water For purification. We will need an area where clay is under the soil. We will use the clay to line the hole in the ground so that no water leaks into the earth. This is pretty simple, dig two holes, one for boiling and one to get clay. Take the clay and add a little bit of water to it so you can apply it to the hole. Seal off all the dirt. Now you can pour water into it and get your fire going along side it. You will need to find dry rocks to do this. Put a few rocks in the fire and once they have been in the fire for a while, you can put them into your water using another two sticks. You know its boiling when its bubbling.

Now you know how to put together a water filter in the wild. But this method for water purification is for SURVIVAL CONDITIONS ONLY, and it is not the best method of purifying water if you are near civilization. During “normal” times, find and install a qualified water filter for your drinking water.

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

DIY Activated Carbon?

make activity carbon

We are sometimes asked, “Please show me how to make activated charcoal at home.” But first, you need to understand team activation, one of the most common ways to “activate” carbon.

Handmade Steam-Activated Carbon
Is it possible?

Steam-activation is primarily used for coconut charcoal and coal. In the production of steam-activated charcoal, first the coconut shell or coal is heated to create a char. This char is then activated high temperatures of 1,700° to 1,800°F with steam in the absence of oxygen. The activated charcoal is then cooled off. The very high temperatures required for steam activation is impossibly achieved in a conventional oven (260 °C). Thus, this method is all but limited to industrial technology.

Another huge limiting factor is the cost of production. The world today uses a huge amount of activated carbon annually and so production has to be on an industrial scale to control the price. Even if money was not an issue, the quality would likely also be an issue, since cooking temperatures and times that require professional knowledge are critical.

So, how can you make steam activated carbonactivated carbon produced by trusted carbon manufacturer. This is the most effective and yet affordable way.

Matter and energy

Which type of GAC filter system do I need?


A filter with granular activated carbon (GAC) is a proven solution to remove certain chemicals (in particular organic chemicals) from water. There are commonly two types of GAC filter system, including a whole-house filter or a point of use filter. Each system has its own features and is used in different applications. Sounds confusing? Don’t worry. Here it’s a guide for to find out your Mr. Filter.
There are several factors to consider:

  • The type and amount of contaminants in the water,
  • Other chemicals in the water,
  • Water use, and
  • Exposure pathways that need to be eliminated.

For those who have no clue about exposure pathways, exposure pathways are the ways chemicals enter your body. Some chemicals may cause harm if they are ingetsted while some are harmful if they are breathed in, some if they enter through the skin. Sometimes people are exposed through a combination of exposure pathways.

An under-sink filter protects people from ingesting the chemical by treating the drinking water only from that tap. It will not protect people from inhaling the chemical while showering or bathing, nor will it protect other water faucets.

A whole-house filter system treats all water traveling to any faucet in the home. It removes the chemical before it can be ingested, breathed in, or absorbed by the skin during washing or bathing.

Remember, no matter which filter system you’ll use, use only a licensed filter supplier. For either type of filter system, consistent maintenance and periodic filter or GAC replacement is essential to ensure effectiveness and prevent bacterial build-up.

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.


Activated Carbon & Water Filters

Activated Carbon

Carbon is a substance that has a long history of being used to adsorb impurities and is perhaps the most powerful adsorbent known to man. One pound of carbon contains a surface area of roughly 125 acres and can adsorb literally thousands of different chemicals. Activated carbon is carbon that is electro-positively charge, making it even more attractive to chemicals and impurities. As the water passes over the positively charged carbon surface, the negative ions of the contaminants are drawn to the surface of the carbon granules.

Activated carbon filters used for home water treatment typically contain either granular activated carbon (GAC) or powdered block carbon. Although both are effective, carbon block filters generally have a higher contaminant removal ratio. The two most important factors affecting the efficiency of activated carbon filtration are the amount of carbon in the unit and the amount of time the contaminant spends in contact with it. The more carbon the better. Similarly, the lower the flow rate of the water, the more time that the contaminants will be in contact with the carbon, and the more absorption that will take place. Particle size also affects removal rates.

Activated carbon filters are usually rated by the size of the particles they are able to remove, measured in microns, and generally range from 50 microns (least effective) down to 0.5 microns (most effective).

The most common carbon types used in water filtration are bituminous, wood, and coconut shell carbons. While coconut shell carbon typically costs 20% more than the others, it is generally regarded as the most effective of the three. All of our activated carbon filters use coconut shell carbon.