Carbon filtration is an efficient way to remove contaminants, particularly in water and air systems; it uses carbon as an activated filter (with a positive charge) to attract negatively-charged impurities, in a process called adsorption. In water, these impurities include sediments and chlorine; in the air, these impurities include tobacco smoke, dust, pollen, unpleasant odors and fumes.
Carbon filters are designed to have very large surface areas where the contaminants can be trapped. Various media can be used, such as pads and cloth, to rein in these trapped pollutants. It is important that these media be replaced regularly before they get too congested to capture more impurities. Carbon filter applications include use as sediment filters, shower filters, and home water filters.
There are two main types of carbon filters used in filtration systems:
- Powdered block or solid block filters. Solid block or powdered block filters are basically crushed carbon densely compressed and compacted (through the use of a binding compound) into a block. They effectively filter out pathogens, coliforms and other bacteria and organic impurities. Their nature as a dense yet porous solid prevents the growth and accumulation of bacteria.
- Granular activated filters. Granular activated filters are more effective at removing contaminants than solid block filters; however, thet are more prone to a build-up of impurities, leading to bacterial accumulation. These bacteria could even find their way back to the air or water, thereby recontaminating what should have been treated in the first place. That’s why it is vital that the mediums used to trap the impurities are replaced at regular intervals. The saturation point of these mediums cannot be determined merely by looking at them. There are, however, granular activated filters that use elements (such as silver) to prevent bacterial growth within the filters.
These carbon filters are typically used in addition to a primary filtering system. Some filtering systems that use either solid block or granular activated filters include HEGA or High Energy Gas Adsorption filters, which remove vapors and odors within a room; HMZD or High Mass Zero Dust panels, which particularly target high-traffic and large areas such as public places and municipal water treatment plants; Carbon V- bank filters; and Activated Carbon Pleated Panel Filters. There are even specialized uses for carbon filters, such as for bongs (used for smoking) – such specialized carbon filters are designed to rid the smoke of toxins and carcinogens, which helps give the user a “smoother smoking experience”. Carbon filters could also come with fans that replenish an area with fresh air after pollutants and unpleasant odors have been extracted.
There you have it! These are just some of the various types of carbon filters available in the market today. It’s good to know that carbon filters are very efficient and environment-friendly to use; it just requires constant maintenance, and replacement of the media used to trap the contaminants is essential. You can use carbon filters to clean the air within your home, and to ensure that your family is drinking safe water.