The activated charcoal water filter is an element used for water treatment and purification. It is made from carbon-rich materials such as nutshell, coconut, charcoal, peat or wood. These materials are heated to high temperatures and a gas is inflated. Thus, it is a more porous and negatively charged carbon, which has the ability to absorb different substances by “adsorption”.

Too complicated? We make it easy for you here. I learned how an activated charcoal water filter works.


About carbon

Let’s start at the beginning. Carbon, along with hydrogen, is one of the most abundant elements in nature. It’s essential to life. All beings are composed of elements where carbon intervenes. In addition, it is present in many inorganic elements.

Carbon can adopt very different structures and its physical and chemical properties will depend on that structure. Think of a diamond or a pencil mine. Both are made up of carbon.

Carbon is the most abundant element in the atmosphere. It is found in the form of carbon dioxide. This gas is safe, but other carbon gases, such as carbon monoxide or cyanide, can be very toxic.

Carbon is a very strong solid. It is not dissolved in water, acids or organic solvents and one of its main properties is adsorption. This is a phenomenon by which a solid traps on its surface elements that are diluted in water. Absorption, on the other hand, occurs when the elements are mixed.


What is activated charcoal?

Activated charcoal is an element produced from carbon-rich soft materials, such as nutshell, coconut, peat or wood. These materials undergo chemical or thermal processes to achieve partial oxidation. A dehydrating reagent is then injected, charred and reduced to dust.

The goal is to increase the adsorption surface. One gram of charcoal dust could be spread in an area of 50 m2. One gram of activated charcoal powder can cover up to 800 m2. Adsorption is used to purify gases and liquids,and the most commonly used solid is activated charcoal.


How does an activated charcoal water filter work?

As we said, activated charcoal works by trapping different types of impurities on its surface. However, it is important to know that these filters are not used to remove bacteria or microorganisms, but only chemicals dissolved in water that modify color or taste.

From this point of view, it allows to remove different types of contaminants, also helping to improve water quality. It eliminates chlorine, organic chemicals such as pesticides or herbicides and many others. Activated carbon filters for household filtration or purification equipment contain carbon dust. It can retain particles 0.5 to 50 microns or microns.

Contaminant retention occurs when water is passed through the filter. By force of gravity it passes through the activated carbon water filter. It is one of the most economical and efficient methods for purifying water. This type of filters can be found in different presentations, such as purifying jugs, door or shower filters, water dispensers and kitchen water filters.


Our recommendations on activated charcoal water filter

  • Filter jugs have so far not been shown to actually improve water quality.
  • There are water filtration equipment only from activated charcoal, or combined with ion exchange systems to trap particles from other contaminants.
  • However, it is best to purchase a system that combines activated carbon filters with membranes since the activated carbon filter does not retain bacteria or microorganisms.
  • These equipments consist of an activated carbon prefilter to protect the membranes of the filters from the effect of chlorine, extending the life of the device and preventing its deterioration. They may also contain another activated carbon filter at the process exit, to improve water quality, eliminate residual odors and flavors, and regulate pH.

Now that you know how an activated charcoal water filter works, consult with the specialists!

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I am tech writer who is passionate about technology and spearheads the core writing team on tech news

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