What Is Activated carbon or activated charcoal from Carrie Ge's blog


Activated carbon or activated charcoal, activated coal or simply active carbon a form of carbon or charcoal processed to have small, low-volume pores, to increase the surface area available for adsorption or chemical reactions.


Generally, the main difference between normal charcoal and activated charcoal is that the latter has its microstructure specially engineered for maximum specific surface and high adsorbtion. Sometimes further chemical treatment is used to enhances adsorption properties.


The most common forms of activated carbon encountered are powder and pellets. The pellet form has the advantage of better mechanical stability and as such is commonly used in various filters.



Activated carbon is a black solid with a grayish luster, with a very high specific surface (500-5000 m2/g). Its high specific surface allows it to adsorb various gasses and liquids, as well as small size particles, a property widely exploited in water purification. While it's generally encountered as a powder, activated charcoal is also available as pellets or beads. It is insoluble in all solvents and will burn in air if ignited, though it does not ignite very easy.



activated carbon pellets is sometimes used as a catalyst in various chemical reactions.



Powdered activated charcoal is sold in various pharmacies. Can also be bought from vet and pet shops.


Gas marks filters tend to contain activated carbon in pellet form.


Some old hard drives also contain activated charcoal as either beads or powder, in a small plastic vial, glued inside.



Activated charcoal can be made from common charcoal or sugar charcoal (made by dehydrating sugar with concentrated sulfuric acid), by treating it with superheated steam (some sources say 800-900 °C) or with hot phosphoric acid. Boiling charcoal in water will also activate it, although this type of activated charcoal, while better than untreated charcoal, is still inferior to the OTC type.www.granular-activated-carbon.com

However, activating the charcoal at home is generally not worth the effort and it's much cheaper to simply just purchase it from the store.

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By Carrie Ge
Added Nov 6


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