Activated carbon is charcoal that has been heated to a point where its adsorption power increases. When thinking of charcoal, one imagines outdoor barbecue pits, but the use of activated charcoal goes back to ancient Egypt where it was used to treat a number of illnesses and helped detox or cleanse the body.
It is made from coconut shells that are heated without using oxygen to an incredibly high temperature that makes it a porous, virtually pure natural carbon. It is further activated by passing steam at 800 degrees that further purifies it.
It is surprising to know that a single teaspoon of activated carbon has the surface area of an entire football field!
Activated carbon is used has myriad uses, and is a very popular component in medical treatment. Here are a few uses of activated carbon for everyday life:
- Whitens teeth: Using toothpaste with activated carbon helps whiten your teeth, and promotes oral health.
- Eases gas and bloating: It works by binding the gas-causing byproducts that cause discomfort.
- Prevents hangover and alcohol poisoning: It helps remove harmful toxins from the body after a night of heavy drinking and can significantly reduce blood alcohol concentrations.
- Filtration of water: Activated carbon filters removes fluoride and other harmful toxins, thereby making drinking water pure
- Reduces cholesterol: Activated carbon reduces bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol. Consult your doctor for more information.
Activated carbon and its various uses are quite intriguing, and one would want to know how charcoal is converted into activated carbon. The manufacturing process of activated carbon is as fascinating, as its uses. Let’s go through the process of activated carbon manufacturing step-by-step:
Their manufacture consists of 2 basic steps: the carbonization of the raw material (coconut shell or palm shell) at temperatures lower than 800 degrees, followed by the activation of the carbonized product.
The first step, that is the carbonization, most of the non-carbon elements such as oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen, are eliminated and the residual carbon atom forms stacks of sheets in a random manner with a large surface area that form activated carbon.
This is further carbonized and developed by passing steam in a temperature range of 800 to 900 degrees. The pyrolysis technology is used for carbonization and has proved to be an efficient method of making activated carbon.
Activated carbon is widely used for the purification of air and water, and the global activated carbon industry is estimated to be around 1.1 million metric ton, and the demand for virgin activated carbon is expected to rise by 10% annually in the near future.
You can buy it from activated carbon manufacturers in India as well as pellets and activated charcoal products online at reasonable prices for use in water purification in your aquariums or tanks; remove odor, and impurities from water or air around you.