The history of activated carbon has been traced back to the early 1800s. This was the procedure that was widely accepted for the treatment of poison. After that, the activated carbon started generating on an industrial scale and people started using it commercially. During the world war activated carbon was used in gas masks worn by American soldiers to protect them from poison. In today’s world, the applications of activated carbon increased, and is extensively used in daily life. In this blog, we will delve deeper into the topic and understand a myriad of applications.
What are activated carbon filters?
These are the activated carbonaceous adsorbents that are synthesized from carbon materials that have very high carbon content as well as lesser content of ash. The small and low-volume pores render the surface for the process of adsorption.
1 gm of activated carbon has approximately 3000 square meters of surface area. The humongous area makes the activated carbon very useful for a wide range of applications. Some examples of source materials are wood, sawdust, bamboo, coconut shell, coir, willow peat, etc.
This is generated by one of 2 methods such as chemical and thermal activation.
- Thermal activation: In this process, the source material is formed into activated carbon with the utilization of hot gases. Thermal activation is done through a process that involves the reduction of moisture.
- Chemical activation: In chemical activation, chemicals are used to the raw materials before the process of carbonization. Usually, the chemical used is strong acid, base, or salt. The material is then exposed to heat.
Classification of the activated carbon:
These are categorized on the basis of size, industrial application, and, method of preparation. There are some 150 different kinds of activated carbon and some of the common types are listed below:
- Powdered activated carbon: They have fine particles which are made up of crushed carbon. The materials which are added are-
- PAC particles
- Rapid mix basins
- Raw water intakes
- Granular Activated Carbon: The granular activated carbon particles are extremely large yet have a smaller external surface area. The particles of GAC are very well suited for the process of adsorption of vapors and gases because these particles diffuse instantly.
- Extruded Activated Carbon: These types of particles fuse PAC with the binding agent and generate tough spherical particles. The properties of such particles are low dust content, low-pressure drop, and good mechanical strength.
- Bead Activated Carbon: These BAC are formed from petroleum pitch and are similar to EAC particles. These are spherical in shape which makes them ideal for the purpose of water treatment.
- Woven carbon: The activated carbon can be woven into technical rayon fiber to fabricate activated carbon cloth. The finished material has carbon filtering properties and it is used in so many applications.
Applications of Activated Carbon:
There are numerous uses of activated carbon filters in various domains as written as follows:
- Medical applications: The activated carbon is most widely used in the medical community in the treatment of poisoning and overdoses. The tablets of activated carbon can be bought throughout the world to treat indigestion.
- Industrial applications: The activated carbon is utilized in a broad range of applications for manufacturing and industrial contexts. One common application related to the industry is metal finishing. It is utilized as a purification agent.
- Chemistry applications: The activated carbon has the property of high adsorption it is widely used to purify solutions of organic chemicals and molecules.
- Agriculture applications: In the purpose of livestock production, activated carbon serves as an additive to animal feed. It also acts as a natural pesticide and disinfectant in agricultural fields.
- Cosmetic applications: The activated carbon is a popular ingredient in shampoos, face masks, and toothpaste. The cosmetic applications are immense due to their properties of trapping toxins.
- Water purification: The water purification process is impeccably done by the activated carbon. These are able to eradicate impurities from large-scale and residential applications.
- Distilled Beverage Purification: In the manufacturing of vodka and whiskey, activated carbon filters can remove organic impurities from the beverage.
- Air and gas purification: The activated carbon is widely utilized in filtering odors, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and pollutants from the air trapping gas molecules. Also, activated carbon can be extensively used to absorb and detect hydrocarbons.
- Space technology: It is an important component in the life support system in manufacturing spacesuits. It helps in removing the trace contaminants and body odors.
Activated Carbon Filter Market Analysis:
The activated carbon filter market is projected to garner a value of USD 75 billion in the year 2023 and by the year 2033, the market is anticipated to garner 150 billion.
The reason for the growth of the market can be attributed to the following reason:
- Rising awareness about water and air pollution
- Increasing demand for clean and safe water
- Growing adoption of activated carbon filters in the automotive industry and energy sector