HomeHealth & WellnessHow does activated carbon filter water?

How does activated carbon filter water?


There is nothing quite so refreshing as a glass of clear cold water on a hot summer’s day. Of course, water should be an essential part of your diet throughout the year.

But, have you ever considered how the water gets to your tap? You’ve probably heard of the water cycle. This is the process that carries water from the sea into the air and then causes rain. It is an essential part of water being available for you to drink.

You may even be aware that the water treatment plant cleans the water but this does not guarantee the water at your tap is safe. That’s why so many people turn to filtap.com.au to ensure they have an activated carbon filtering system in their home.

But how does activated carbon work?

Understanding Activated Carbon

Activated carbon is actually a form of charcoal which has been treated with oxygen.

The charcoal is processed by heating it in a special process. This allows the pure carbon to be extracted from the charcoal. It is also possible to get carbon from coal, peat or many other organic compounds.

Once the carbon has been removed it is usually exposed to CO2, although steam or an acid based chemical can also be used.

This opens the pores in the carbon, making thousands of tiny little holes that are invisible to the human eye.

The actual process involves heating the carbon to between 600 and 900°C. The CO2 is then added and the temperature increased to between 900 and 1200°C.

The first stage opens the pores; the second allows the oxygen in CO2 to bond with the carbon.

The carbon is then activated. When water passes through it many of the elements will be trapped by the holes; only allowing the water to soak through and come out the other side. The activation process also dramatically increases the surface area of the carbon; making it much more effective at catching unwanted substances.

What the Activated Carbon Removes from Water

Activated carbon is used in most water filters because it can trap a huge number of different substances.

The activated carbon will remove approximately 81 common chemicals that are found in water.

It will also remove all known organic contaminants including THM’s. These can be particularly harmful to your health.

It is also known to remove all pesticides and other industrial contaminants that have found their way into the water supply.

Of course, activated carbon cannot remove every single dangerous substance. It is worth being aware of the most common substances which it cannot remove. If you have these in your water you should talk to a specialist regarding what filter suits your needs.

  • Dissolved solids. These include minerals and salts including iron. They are not generally considered dangerous.
  • Some microbiological contaminants can get through activated carbon, such as coliform and cysts.
  • Lead, arsenic and asbestos cannot be removed as they are considered inorganic.

Having a water filter is an essential step towards ensuring your tap water is safe. But, you should consider carefully which filter suits your needs best. Activated carbon can work very effectively alongside a variety of other filters.





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