How To Use Activated Carbon To Filter Water

Activated Carbon Filters

Organic compounds and/or free chlorine are removed from water using activated carbon filters, which allows the water to be discharged or used in manufacturing operations once it has been treated with the filter. When organics in drinkable water, such as humic and fulvic acid, are removed from the water, chlorine in the water is prevented from chemically interacting with the acids and generating trihalomethanes, a family of carcinogens that have been identified. It is true that, like with any water treatment technology, activated carbon filtration (AC) does not have the ability to remove every potential sort of contamination.

Water softening is also not possible with air conditioning filters.

High-Tech Filtration

Activated carbon filters for industrial filtering systems are available in a wide variety of high-tech configurations. Because of the many strata from which it is obtained (bituminous or anthracite coal, bone char, coconut shell, etc.) and the different ways it is created, activated carbon can have a wide range of performance characteristics. AC materials are created using a variety of unique technologies, which result in significant variances between the many types of AC materials now available in the marketplace.

  1. As a result, it is vital to match the appropriate activated carbon bed with the specific requirement.
  2. Coconut shells and coal (anthracite or bituminous) are both natural sources of activated carbon that are derived from biological materials.
  3. This process removes heavy organic molecules from the organic mass, leaving only around 30 percent of the organic matter intact.
  4. The process of activation opens up the huge number of pores on the surface of the carbon and pushes away even more undesirable molecules.
  5. There are two primary mechanisms of activation:
  • In order to activate the steam, temperatures between 800°C and 1000°C must be reached before the activation may take place. At these temperatures, a Water-Gas reaction takes place in an instant, resulting in the gasification of the carbonized material. After then, air is injected to burn away the gasses without igniting any of the carbon. As a result of this process, activated carbon is produced in a graded, screened, and de-dusted form. When carbon is activated by steam, it often has a tiny pore structure, which makes it suitable for adsorbing both liquid and vapor phase chemicals. A vigorous dehydrating agent, often in the form of phosphoric acid (P 2 O 5) or zinc chloride paste, is initially applied to the carbon surface before the carbon is activated chemically (ZnCl 2). In order to activate the carbon, the paste is heated to temperatures ranging from 500°C to 800°C. Because of the chemical activation process, activated carbon has an extremely open pore structure, which makes it more appropriate for adsorbing big molecules.

How it Works

It is mostly utilized for two separate types of water treatment, and each uses activated carbon in a completely different way. Chlorine removal may be accomplished with little deterioration or harm to the carbon when using activated carbon. Dechlorination happens quickly and at high flow rates, which is common for this process. Although this process demands a large amount of surface area, the organics in the water will ultimately fill the pores of the carbon and prevent it from functioning properly.

Carbon that has been deactivated can be reactivated; however, reactivated filters should only be utilized for waste-water treatment applications.

Because the chlorine has been removed from the upper layer of the media, one consequence of using an air conditioner is that it creates a wet environment that is excellent for the growth and multiplication of bacteria.

Water travels through an activated carbon filter, where organic particles and chemicals are held within by a process known as “adsorption.” The adsorption process is dependent on five critical factors: Water quality is influenced by several factors, including: 1) the physical properties of the activated carbon (surface area and pore size distribution); 2) the chemical makeup of the carbon source (amount of hydrogen and oxygen); 3) the chemical makeup and concentration of a contaminant; 4) the pH and temperature of the water; and 5) the length of time that water is exposed to the activated carbon filter (called empty bed contact time or EBCT).

Additional considerations for organics removal are discussed below:

  1. Physical Characteristics: The size and distribution of the pores have the biggest influence on the efficacy of the AC filtering system. When carbon holes are barely big enough to allow for the adsorption of pollutants, the best filtering occurs (Figure 1). An AC filter’s ability to attract different types of pollutants is determined by the pore size of the filter, which varies depending on the kind of carbon employed and the technique of activation utilized. Figure 1 illustrates how AC filters perform best when it comes to eliminating organic pollutants with bigger molecules. The screening of molecules in the micropores of an activated carbon filter is described here. (in the tradition of G. L. Culp and R. L. Culp)
  2. Activated carbon filters have chemical properties, which means that the surface of an activated carbon filter may interact chemically with organic molecules. The interaction of electrical forces between the AC surface and the chemical composition of some pollutants may result in ion exchange or adsorption of some contaminants. The chemical characteristics of the AC filter are mostly determined by the activation process, which makes the filter appealing to a wide range of pollutants as a result of the procedure. It is possible to obtain activated carbon with diverse chemical characteristics by using a variety of activation techniques. For example, AC with the least amount of oxygen in its pore surfaces will absorb chloroform the most effectively
  3. And Properties of Contaminants: Activated carbon is the ideal material to utilize for filtering out big organic compounds. Due to the fact that AC and organic molecules are comparable materials, they will have a strong tendency to connect with one another. This indicates that organic compounds will have a greater tendency to bind to the AC filter rather than being dissolved in water as a result of the change. The less soluble organic molecules are, the more probable it is that they will be adsorbed by other molecules. Smaller organic molecules are able to fit into the tiniest pores and are kept in place the most tightly. Concentration: The concentration of organic pollutants can have an effect on the adsorption process. If chloroform removal is required, for example, one AC filter may be more successful than another at filtering high concentrations of pollutants but less effective at filtering low concentrations of contaminants, as shown in Figure 1. To learn how an activated carbon filter will work at different concentration levels for a certain chemical, consult with the manufacturer
  4. Adsorption rates are often greater at lower water temperatures and pH levels because of the increased rate of adsorption at lower temperatures and pH levels. The temperature and pH of water have a strong relationship on chemical reactions and chemical forms. It is generally accepted that organic compounds become more adsorbable when temperatures and pH levels fall
  5. The amount of time that the contaminant is in contact with the AC filter has an effect on the adsorption process as well
  6. The longer the time that the pollutant is in contact with the AC filter, the larger the quantity of contaminants that will be eliminated from the air. The efficacy of the filtration process will be enhanced by using a higher concentration of active carbon and a slower flow rate. The depth of the bed and the rate of the flow are essential design criteria. Empty bed contact time (EBCT) is a term used to describe the amount of time water remains in touch with a carbon bed after it has been removed from the water supply.

Filtration Equipment

However, unlike the multi-media filters that they are comparable to, activated carbon filters do not require an air scour phase in the backwashing process to function properly. Because certain organics require a longer period of exposure to the filter before they can be removed, taller filter vessel side shells can be employed to offer deeper carbon beds for longer reaction durations, resulting in increased efficiency. Backwashing carbon beds is recommended to aid in the removal of trapped silt, the prevention of packing and head loss, and the removal of carbon fines formed by friction between granules.

WaterProfessionals® has years of expertise in the delivery of these systems and can assist you with this.

Environmental Health- Minnesota Dept. of Health

A whole-housefilter is placed at a location on the home’s water supply piping that will result in the treatment of all water that goes to every faucet or fixture in the household once it has been installed (but typically will exclude outside faucets to prolong the life of thecarbon). During the washing or bathing process, it eliminates the chemicals before they may be consumed, breathed in, or absorbed through the skin. The form of the filters is typically cylindrical in nature. The one featured in the photo is approximately 4-feet tall and 15 inches in diameter, according to the manufacturer.

In this configuration, two filters are placed one after the other, and any molecule that makes it past the first filter is caught by the second filter.

Sample ports situated before, between, and after the filters enable for the testing of the water at each of the three locations mentioned above (see diagram on the next page).

When the system is bypassed, the water that enters the residence is not filtered in the traditional manner.

2. Pointof Use Filters:

A point of use (POU) filter is a water filter that is inserted in the water supply pipe right before the faucet from which consumers acquire their drinking water. One such example is an under-sink device in which water runs through a carbon filter before being sent to a secondary water tap next to the main water faucet. It will be treated with GAC when water is drawn from the separate tap, but it will not be treated when water is drawn from the main faucet (hot or cold).

Other examples of point-of-use filters are GAC pitcher filters, which are widely found in grocery shops, and GAC filters that are integrated into the icemaker of a refrigerator.

What does activated carbon filters remove from tap water?

Tap water activated carbon filters are nothing short of remarkable when it comes to their ability to remove impurities, odors, and a poor taste from the water. But, how do they operate, and do you really need one of these? Here’s a quick review of how active carbon filters function, what they can and cannot remove, and the limits of these filters.

How do activated carbon filters work?

When it comes to removing pollutants, odor, and unpleasant taste from tap water, activated carbon filters are nothing short of amazing. But just what exactly do they do, and why would you want one? An summary of how active carbon filters function, what they can and cannot remove, and their limits is provided below.

  • All 32 recognized organic pollutants, including THMs (by-products of chlorine)
  • All 14 specified pesticides (this includes nitrates as well as pesticides such as glyphosate, popularly known as roundup)
  • The 12 most commonly used herbicides
  • And the 12 most commonly used insecticides.
See also:  How To Change Water Filter In Maytag Fridge

These are the exact pollutants and other compounds that charcoal filters are designed to remove from the environment.

Chlorine (Cl)

For drinking water, the majority of public tap water in Europe and North America is extensively regulated, tested, and certified for safety. However, chlorine is added to make it safe, which may result in an unpleasant taste and smell due to the chlorine. Activated carbon filters are extremely effective at eliminating chlorine as well as the unpleasant taste and odor that it causes. A high-quality activated carbon filter may remove 95 percent or more of the free chlorine from the environment.

When it comes to chlorine, it should not be confused with chloride, which is a mineral formed by the combination of sodium and calcium.

Chlorine bi-products

The most prevalent source of worry regarding tap water is the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from chlorine, such as THMs, which have been recognized as possibly carcinogenic. Activated carbon outperforms any other filter technology when it comes to eliminating these contaminants. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, it eliminates the 32 most prevalent chlorine by-products. The total THMs content of tap water is the most commonly reported value.

Chloride (Cl-)

Chloride is a naturally occurring mineral that contributes to the normal regulation of blood volume, blood pressure, and the pH of bodily fluids. Excessive chloride in water, on the other hand, can produce a salty flavor. Chloride is a naturally occurring component of tap water that has no adverse effects on human health. In the process of disinfecting drinking water to remove hazardous bacteria and viruses, it is used as a disinfectant. It is not necessary to filter or eliminate chloride; nevertheless, activated carbon can decrease chloride by 50-70 percent in most cases.


Pesticides are compounds that are intended to manage pests, such as weeds, but which wind up in groundwater, lakes, rivers, and the seas, as well as in tap water in certain cases despite being treated.

Activated carbon has been shown to effectively remove 14 of the most commonly used pesticides, including Chlordane, Chlordecone (CLD/Kepone), Glyphosate (Round-up), Heptachlor, and Lindane, among others. This contains nitrates as well (se below).


Herbicides, often known as weedkillers, are compounds that are used to combat invasive plants such as weeds. In tests, activated carbon was shown to be effective in removing 12 of the most commonly used herbicides, including 2,4-D and Atrazine.

Nitrate (NO32-)

Nitrate is one of the most crucial substances for plants to have in their systems. It is a rich source of Nitrogen, which is required for plant growth in large quantities. If nitrate is not consumed in excessively large quantities, there is no known risk to humans. Excessive Nitrate in water, on the other hand, can produce Methemoglobinemia, also known as “blue baby” sickness (Lack of oxygen). Nitrate in tap water is typically derived from fertilizers, septic systems, and manure storage or spreading activities, among other sources.


PFOS is a synthetic chemical that is found in a variety of products such as firefighting foam, metal plating, and stain repellents. The substance has accumulated in the environment and drinking water sources over time, with a handful of large instances occurring in North America and Europe in recent years. According to a 2002 research conducted by the Environmental Directorate of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), “PFOS is persistent, bioaccumulative, and hazardous to mammalian species.” According to research, activated carbon is excellent in removing PFOS, which includes PFAS, PFOA, and PFNA.

Phosphate (PO43-)

Phosphate, like nitrate, is required for the development of all plants. Phosphate is an extremely effective corrosion inhibitor. There has been no evidence of any health hazards associated with high concentrations of phosphate in humans. Phosphates are often added to drinking water by public water systems (PWSs) in order to avoid the leaching of lead and copper from pipes and plumbing fixtures. Phosphates are frequently removed from water using high-quality charcoal filters to the tune of 70% to 90%.

Lithium (Li+)

Lithium can be found in trace amounts in drinking water. Lithium is an antidepressant component, despite the fact that it is found in extremely little quantities. It has not been demonstrated to have any negative impact on the human body. Continental brine water, geothermal waters, and oil-and-gas production brines are all known to contain lithium in varying concentrations. TAPP Water, for example, uses charcoal filters to remove this element by 70-90 percent.


The widespread use of medications has resulted in the release of pharmaceuticals and their metabolites into wastewater on a rather consistent basis. Because the concentrations of pharmaceuticals detected in drinking water are several orders of magnitude lower than the minimum therapeutic dose, current observations suggest that exposure to very low levels of pharmaceuticals in drinking water will not result in appreciable adverse effects on human health.

In the effluents from poorly managed manufacturing or production facilities, pharmaceuticals, notably those linked with generic drugs, may be discharged into water sources. Pharmaceuticals are removed from the environment via high-quality carbon block filters such as EcoPro.


Microplastics are produced as a result of plastic waste originating from a variety of sources. Because of a multitude of factors, determining the precise impact of microplastics on human health is difficult to assess. Different types of plastics, as well as various chemical additives that may or may not be present, are available on the market. In contrast to natural materials, when plastic garbage enters rivers, it does not decompose as quickly as it would otherwise. Polymer debris is broken down into tiny bits as a result of exposure to the sun’s rays, reactivity to oxygen, and deterioration caused by physical forces like as waves and sand.

A 2 micron carbon block, such as EcoPro, is capable of removing any microplastics bigger than 2 microns in diameter.

Special Activated Carbon Filters

As an alternative to standard activated carbon, some filters employ processed carbon, such as catalytic activated carbon, or incorporate other materials to increase filtering. According to EcoPro, the activated carbon block also eliminates or decreases the following substances:

  • 95 percent or greater chloramine
  • 95 percent lead and zinc (NSF-53 compliant)
  • 95 percent copper
  • 100 percent microplastics (due to the 1-2 micron carbon block)
  • 95 percent lead and zinc (NSF-53 compliant). Heavy metals such as mercury account for 70% of the total
  • Nitrates account for 70% of the total. Calcium (Limescale) Is a new variant of EcoPro cartridges that contains 30-70 percent arsenic and asbestos. Fluoride accounts about 70% of the total. Giardia and cryptosporidium cysts are examples of microbial cysts.

It is feasible to remove additional material like as calcium (limescale) and pathogens by incorporating Ion Exchange and/or ultrafiltration layers into the system (bacteria, coliform and viruses). TAPP Water produces an ultrafiltration filter for use in places where potable water is not available.

What Activated Carbon doesn’t filter

Despite the fact that Activated Carbon filters can remove more than 70 pollutants, there are some compounds that it cannot remove.

  • Minerals that are beneficial to health, including as magnesium, potassium, sodium, and calcium (this implies that TDS is not normally lowered with activated carbon)
  • The dissolved solids, which include minerals, salts, and metals like as iron, which are not considered pollutants
  • And Some microbiological pollutants, such as coliform bacteria, viruses, and tiny bacteria, are present. Contaminants inorganic such as arsenic and asbestos (which have only been partly removed)
  • Radionuclides, despite the fact that they have been decreased

When it comes to mineral reduction or TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) reduction, activated carbon water filters are not very effective, according to a typical metric used by water filter salespeople. TDS and minerals in tap water are covered in detail in a different blog post. Learn more about dissolved solids (TDS) and minerals in tap water.

Microbiological contaminants

This is one of the most prevalent problems associated with drinking water in nations with inadequate infrastructure. Especially for those suffering from waterborne gastrointestinal illnesses (e.g. diarrhea that visitors not used to the local water get). Bacteria and viruses can thrive in natural water because it provides an ideal environment for growth. As the smallest form of microorganisms capable of causing disease, viruses, particularly those of fecal origin, are particularly contagious to humans through waterborne transmission.

It is generally accepted that chlorination of drinking-water will destroy all bacteria and viruses, and hence, in Europe and North America, no filtration of these chemicals is required for public drinking water.

Corona viruses, such as the one that causes Covid19, are not filtered or removed by activated carbon filters. Not to worry, corona viruses have never been discovered in disinfected municipal tap water. More information on how to protect yourself from Coronaviruses and Covid19 may be found here.


It is common in some areas where groundwater has been polluted by contaminants. Activated carbon is effective at removing 30-70 percent of arsenic, but it is insufficient in areas where arsenic contamination is recognized as a serious concern. If your local water includes one or more of these contaminants, you should be certain that the filter decreases the concentration to a safe level before using it. It is most often the case that activated carbon is used in conjunction with other types of filters, such as Ion Exchange.


Activated carbon is a remarkable substance and technique for water filtration, and it may solve a variety of problems, but not all of them.

  • Make certain that you are aware of the limits of activated carbon and that you select a filter that meets your unique requirements. Highly effective, high-quality activated carbon filters, such as astause treated materials to improve their filtering performance, which may remove lead and other heavy metal contaminants as well as microplastics and certain germs
  • Due to the fact that activated carbon filters retain beneficial minerals in water, they often do not reduce total dissolved solids (TDS) unless they are used in conjunction with other filtering methods. A variety of filter technologies, including reverse osmosis (RO), whole house filters, ultraviolet (UV) filters, and other types of filters, make use of activated carbon or charcoal filters as a stage in their operation. When seeking for an inexpensive high quality water activated carbon water filter, EcoPro is a good choice.

If you have any questions concerning which pollutants are screened, please do not hesitate to contact us at Learn more about TAPP Water and how it compares to other water filters such as Brita, PUR, and Culligan in this article.


  • A complete list of what activated carbon filters and does not filter — is available here. Learn more about activated carbon water filters by visiting the Filter Guide for Drinking Water website. What is the mechanism of action of activated carbon adsorption? What does Activated Carbon remove from the environment –
  • What is the Process of Granular Activated Carbon –
  • What does Activated Carbon remove from the environment
  • Contaminants with microbiological origin –

Originally published on the 15th of January, 2018. The most recent update was made on March 14, 2020.

Drinking Water Treatment – Activated Carbon Filter – Drinking Water and Human Health

Is it necessary to install an activated carbon filter treatment system for the purification of private well water? Things to think about before making a purchase. Unwanted tastes and smells, residual chlorine and iodine, detergents, radon, and certain man-made organic compounds, including many pesticides, as well as volatile organic molecules, such as paint thinners, are all inhibited. Lead and other heavy metals are only removed by a particularly specific sort of activated carbon filter, which is used specifically in this application.

See also:  Do I Need To Turn Off Gas Water Heater When Water Is Off

Heavy metals should not be removed by a filter unless the maker specifically specifies that the device will do so.


  • 1How Does Activated Carbon Treatment Work? 2What Are the Different Types of Units?
  • Units with a pour-through opening
  • Units with a faucet mount opening
  • Units with an in-line device
  • Units with a line-bypass opening 2.5Entire-house treatment or a single point of entrance
  • Three factors to consider: unit effectiveness, maintenance, and other considerations. Six questions to ask yourself before making a purchase.

How Activated Carbon Treatment Works

Carbon filters are the typical name for these types of devices. They really operate as a filter, transferring pollutants to activated carbon media. Activated carbon filters are used to remove undesirable tastes and odors, as well as radon and some man-made volatile organic contaminants, from drinking water supplies. The type of activated carbon used in the unit, the depth of the filter bed, the type and concentration of contaminants in the water, and the amount of time the water spends in contact with the carbon filter all influence the efficiency of the unit’s performance.

  1. Carbon filters are simple to install and maintain, and the majority of the time, the only operating costs are associated with filter replacement.
  2. Other types of filters, such as charcoal and ceramic materials, are also readily accessible.
  3. The solid material that is used in an activated carbon filter is a specialized carbon that has been manufactured specifically for this application.
  4. In most cases, an activated carbon filter is used in conjunction with a pre-treatment filter to remove any sediment or iron particles that may be present and cause the carbon filter to clog with sediment.
  5. When it comes to filtering out organic chemicals that may be present in drinking water, granular activated carbon is a good choice.
  6. Use of block carbon may result in a significant drop in home water pressure.

A synthetic resin may be a substitute for carbon. Although activated carbon is efficient in removing a variety of organic chemicals, a specially formulated synthetic resin may be a better absorber for a specific contaminant.

Types of Units

Point-of-entry activated carbon filters are available in two configurations: point-of-entry and point-of-use. All activated carbon units differ in terms of the amount of treatment they provide, how they are installed, how much storage space they require, and how much they cost. Additionally, certain devices are more effective at treating specific toxins than others. Consult with a medical professional about your treatment choices. Additionally, validate that the treatment unit has been tested to ensure that it meets the manufacturer’s specifications.

Activated carbon systems may be classified into five categories.

Pour-through units

Pour-through devices, which are similar in construction to a drip coffee maker, are the most basic sort of activated carbon filter available. Water is pumped through the carbon, and the treated water is collected in a storage container once it has been processed via the carbon. These devices do not have a connection to the water supply and are commonly placed on a counter top. They are lightweight and portable, requiring no assembly or installation, and are ideal for camping or picnics. Generally speaking, pour-through devices are not as successful as bigger, automated systems since they handle only little volumes of water at a time.

It is necessary to change the filtering material.

Faucet mount units

Mounted units are fixed to the faucet (typically in the kitchen) or are put on the counter and connected to the faucet through a pipe or a connector. You may choose between two basic designs: the bypass option, which includes a valve that filters water used for cooking and drinking (this helps to extend the life of the carbon cartridge), and the non-bypass version, which filters all water that passes through the faucet. Because the amount of carbon included in a faucet-mount unit is insufficient to allow for prolonged contact time with the water, these devices are not suggested for the removal of organic pollutants from water.

Because significant bacterial growth can occur on the carbon in these units when they are left unused for an extended period of time, they should be cleansed thoroughly after being left unused.

In-line device

Water treatment for drinking and cooking is provided via an in-line device put beneath the kitchen sink in the cold water supply line.

The treated (cold) water can mingle with the untreated (hot) water if both hot and cold water are supplied by a single faucet at the same time. Only when using cold water for drinking and cooking can you be confident that the water has been treated.

Line-bypass unit

The line-bypass device is likewise connected to the cold water pipe, but treated water for cooking and drinking is provided by a separate faucet placed at the sink. The water that comes out of the faucet is untreated. Due to the fact that this design allows for the use of either treated or untreated water, depending on the intended usage, it enhances the life of the carbon. In addition to increasing contact duration and adsorption efficacy, the separate faucet system reduces the flow rate. For the removal of radon or volatile organic compounds, neither in-line nor line-bypass devices are suggested.

Whole-house treatment or point-of-entry

When it comes to the treatment of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), radon, and other pollutants that should be treated before entering the house, whole-house treatment or point-of-entry treatment is advised. Because volatile organic compounds (VOCs) readily vaporize from water and into the air, point-of-entry treatment helps to prevent inhalation and skin contact with hazardous vapors from the shower, dishwasher, washing machine, and other situations where large amounts of water are used to wash clothes.

POUs (point-of-entry devices) are positioned where water enters the house, allowing them to treat all of the water that is utilized in the house at the same time.

Although there is no bypass option, water can be diverted for outdoor usage prior to treatment if necessary.

Unit Effectiveness

The efficiency of an activated carbon unit is dependent on the amount of contact time that the carbon has with the untreated water that is being treated. The functioning of carbon filters may cause channels to develop inside them, allowing some water to flow through untreated. When this occurs, the water is referred to be untreated. These pathways reduce the amount of time that the carbon granules are in touch with the chemical pollutants, hence decreasing the efficacy of the carbon filter unit.

  1. The iodine test and the phenol test are the two most common tests used to evaluate how much carbon can be absorbed by a carbon filter.
  2. The greater the number, the greater the amount of adsorption capacity of the carbon filter.
  3. The lower the phenol number, the more effective the carbon is at removing organics from the environment.
  4. Please bear in mind that manufacturers typically publish the removal rate that is the most favorable for their product.
  5. It is common for bigger bed volumes of carbon to remove a greater volume of pollutants.
  6. Buyers should check as many items as possible and be aware of the specific contaminants from which they want the unit to be able to remove.

Additionally, when a unit is installed, it is recommended that both the raw water (before to treatment) and the treated water be retested to confirm that it is operating effectively.


However high the quality of the equipment acquired, it will not function well unless it is maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning, maintenance, and replacement of parts. Record the results of water tests, as well as the maintenance and repairs of equipment, in a log book. For the most part, activated carbon filter devices require the carbon to be replaced on a regular basis. When it comes to tiny specialist units, the complete unit is often replaced. Cartridge filters are the most straightforward to replace.

The length of time spent in service varies substantially.

Because certain filters are only capable of treating a specific volume of water, a water meter mounted on the filter can assist in determining when carbon replacement is required.

For example, carbon filters used to remove radon from drinking water are a type of filter.

Other Considerations

Microorganisms thrive in activated carbon, which is a good substrate for their growth. Bacterial growths will block and cover the activated carbon, reducing the efficacy of the filter and increasing the likelihood of bacteria being introduced into your water supply. The practice of allowing the water to pass through the filter for at least 30 seconds is recommended in order to wash out germs that may have gathered and developed in the filter over time. Backwashing and replacing filters on a regular basis can assist to minimize the buildup of germs.

Questions to Ask Before You Buy

Before investing in a water treatment equipment, get your water tested at a state-certified laboratory to establish the presence of toxins in your drinking water. The results of this test will assist you in determining whether or not an activated-carbon filter is a suitable treatment strategy for your particular case. For further information, please seeQuestions to Ask Before Purchasing a Water Treatment System.

L. Wagenet and colleagues, K. Mancl, and M. Sailus, adapted from: (1995). Agricultural Engineering Service, Cooperative Extension, Northeast Regional Agricultural Engineering Service, Ithaca, New York. NRAES-48. Home Water Treatment

What are Carbon Filters for Water Filtration

What are Carbon Filters, and how do they work? Carbon is a frequent medium in water filtration operations because of its ability to trap particles. In reality, carbon filtration is used in some form or another by practically every type of water filter system, including camping water filters, refrigerator filters, shower filters, pitcher filters, reverse osmosis water filtration systems, and whole-house water filtration systems. When a carbon source is ground up, it may be used to make carbon filters for water filtering.

In order to construct the filter, material is heated to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit in the absence of oxygen in order to bake away contaminants.

Due to the presence of cracks and holes in the carbon granules caused by the steam, they are capable of storing huge amounts of chemicals and pollutants.

How do Carbon Filters Work?

Carbon filters work by adsorbing pollutants and removing them. Adsorption is the process by which pollutants are drawn to the surface of activated carbon and retained there, in a manner similar to how a magnet attracts and retains iron filings on a magnetized surface. Carbon filters can also function as a catalyst, altering the chemical composition of some pollutants as a result of their use. Activated carbon is particularly effective in removing chlorine, organic pollutants such as pesticides, THMs such as chloroform, and a wide range of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are found in gasoline, solvents, and industrial cleansers.

What is a Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) Water Filter?

Granular activated carbon (GAC) is an abbreviation for “granular activated carbon,” and it is made up of microscopic, loose granules of carbon. It is common practice to include a “polishing filter” as part of the water filtration process, as GAC filters are extremely successful at improving the taste and odor of drinking water. The difference between aGAC carbon filter and a carbon block filter is that the loose bits of carbon are crushed together to create a filter in the case of a carbon block filter.

See also:  How To Make A Charcoal Water Filter

What do GAC Water Filters Remove?

Granular activated carbon (also known as GAC)filters have exceptionally high adsorption capacities and are capable of removing a wide range of impurities from the water supply (seecontaminant list here). GAC filters are frequently used to remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs), pesticides, nitrates, hydrogen sulfide, and a variety of other contaminants. Municipal water treatment plants utilize disinfectants such as chlorine and chloramine, which can leave an objectionable taste and odor in the water that is intended for human consumption.

What is a Carbon Block Filter?

When the loose fragments of carbon are squeezed together to create a filter, this is known as a carbon block filter. One pound of compressed activated carbon (the quantity included in a conventional ten-inch filter cartridge) has the surface area of a 160-acre farm, making it one of the most absorbent materials known to man when used in a carbon block filter. As a result of the compressed form of a carbon block filter, water flow rates are significantly lower than those of a GAC filter constructed of loose media.

In addition, the micron grade of the filter has an influence on flow rates. The micron rating of a carbon block filter is determined by how much the carbon is squeezed during the manufacturing process. With a decreased micron rating, the filtering is finer, and as a result, the flow rate is reduced.

Carbon Block Filters vs. GAC Carbon Filters

The difference between a carbon block filter and a GAC filter is explained here. Carbon block filters and GAC filters are both constructed of the same substance, but one is composed of ground-up loose carbon, while the other is composed of loose carbon that has been compacted into a block. In the water filtering process, several water filter systems make use of both carbon block and GAC filters. Filters composed of a solid block of compressed carbon are commonly used as a pre-filter in water filtration systems such as reverse osmosis and other types of water filtration.

As a result of the compressed structure of the compressed carbon, water will normally flow more slowly during this filtering step.

Because water flows more freely through this stage, the flow rates of GAC filters are higher than those of carbon block filters.

Filter GAC (Granular Activated Carbon) Carbon Block
Medium Type Loose carbon granules Compressed carbon
Filtration Purpose PrefilterPolishing filter Prefilter
Typical Use
To improve taste and odor of water by removing chlorine, hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg odor), etc See complete listhere.
Can filter sediment, as well as pesticides, heavy metals, and other contaminants
General Flow Rates Generally higher flow rates Generally lower flow rates
How Often to Replace Every 6-12 months* Every 6-12 months*
Advantages May do a better job at adsorbing certain contaminants Can adsorb AND filter

* The frequency with which filters should be replaced will vary depending on local water conditions and family consumption.

Carbon Block Filters are Rated in Microns

When it comes to carbon block filters, they are classified according to the size of impurities that can be eliminated down to the micron level. Most of the time, the range ranges from 50 microns down to.5 microns or less. The greater the rating, the larger the magnitude of the pollutant in question. Very tiny pollutants will require the use of a filter with a small micron size rating, such as a.5 micron rating, in order to be removed.

How Often Should Carbon Water Filters Be Changed?

Carbon filters used in reverse osmosis drinking water systems should be updated every 6-12 months, with the carbon filter and the polishing filter (granular activated carbon filter) being replaced every 12 months. In the end, the lifespan of a carbon filter is determined by how unclean or polluted the water is to begin with. The quality of the carbon, the humidity, and the amount of use may all influence how long a carbon filter can survive.

Are Carbon Filters Safe?

Yes. As a matter of fact, the material safety of many of the carbon filters we sell has been tested and certified by a third party.

Do Charcoal Water Filters Work?

Charcoal is a kind of carbon that has been utilized in the past, but is currently only sometimes used. Almost all carbon filters are now constructed from coconut shells, which is unusual. Typically, when someone refers to “charcoal filters,” they are referring to carbon filters, because carbon filters are particularly good in removing pollutants from drinking water.

What are Coconut Water Filters?

These filters are constructed of coconut husk carbon that has been vacuum heated in a lab and cleaned before being used to filter water.

Coconut carbon is the most often utilized form of carbon in water filters today because it is good at eliminating undesirable tastes, smells, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), chlorine, pesticides, and other contaminants.

What are Catalytic Carbon Filters?

Catalytic carbon filters are a form of carbon filter that incorporates a catalytic carbon block, which is a specific sort of carbon. In the reduction of atchlorine and chloramine, catalytic carbon filters are quite efficient. Catalytic carbon filters, like as the Matrikx ChloraGuardwater filter, are one type of filter that uses catalytic carbon.

What Do Carbon Filters Remove From Water?

Carbon filters can successfully remove or minimize a wide range of pollutants from water, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs), chlorine, lead, fluoride, pesticides, and many more. Read What Do Carbon Filters Remove for a more in-depth list of what carbon filters remove.

How effective is activated carbon for water purification?

Charcoal filters, also known as activated carbon filters, are made up of microscopic fragments of carbon that can be found in either block or granular form in the filter media. These pieces have been treated in such a way that they are extremely porous. It takes 4 grams of activated carbon to cover the surface area of a football field (6400 sqm), which makes it an excellent choice for water filtration. So, you must be wondering why people favor activated carbon for water filtration at this point, right?

  • When you pour water down through the charcoal filter, all of the pollutants contained in the water adhere to the charcoal filter and are removed.
  • For example, cold water should be pumped through a tiny charcoal filter at a lower pressure than hot water.
  • Because it is porous, granular activated carbon, often known as GAC, does not have a set limit.
  • Check out this article: Activated Carbon for Water Filtration: What is it and how does it work?

How does it purify the water?

The tap water that you drink contains a variety of toxins and chemicals that, over time, can have a negative impact on your overall health. As a result, the use of activated carbon for water filtration is highly recommended. Activated carbon removes hundreds of chemicals and pollutants from water via a process known as adsorption. Recent studies done by the National Sanitation Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimate that 60 to 80 chemicals can be removed while 22 to 30 chemicals can be reduced.

According to an EPA report, activated carbon technology is capable of eliminating all of the known organic pollutants, which are 32 in number, including THMs.

Additionally, charcoal filters, also known as activated carbon, are used in a variety of filtering technologies, including whole-house filters, reverse osmosis (RO), ultraviolet (UV) filters, and many others.

What harmful contaminants and chemicals does it remove?

The issue now is, what chemicals and toxins can it remove from the environment? Is it possible to eliminate every particle that is damaging to a human body using this method? Some of the pollutants and compounds that it eliminates are included in the table below. After you’ve finished reading it, you’ll have a better understanding of the advantages that an activated carbon filter may bring you. As everyone is aware, pesticides are used in agriculture to keep pests away from crops and so preventing them from causing damage.

  • Despite treatment, it does occasionally end up in drinking water.
  • Pesticides such as chlordecone, chlordane, and lindane, among others, can be eliminated from as many as 14 different identifiers.
  • If you do this, the water’s fragrance and flavor may be altered in a way that you do not appreciate.
  • It is capable of removing chlorine from your tap water to a 95 percent purity.
  • THMs, for example, are regarded to be possibly carcinogenic by some experts.
  • According to the Environmental Protection Agency, it can eliminate as many as 32 chlorine by-products.
  • Nitrogen is essential for the growth of plants, and it is not detrimental to people in any way.

When you utilize activated carbon for water filtration, you may lower the amount of Nitrate in the water by around 50-70 percent.

In freshwater sources, microplastics are microscopic particles of plastic that have accumulated over time.

A variety of factors contribute to the negative effects of plastic on the human body.

Sixth, chloride is a lifesaver when it comes to maintaining a healthy blood pressure, blood vacuum, and pH balance of bodily fluids and tissues.

Chlorine is used in the chlorination process to eliminate dangerous viruses and bacteria from the water supply.

It can lower the amount of chlorine in water by up to 50-70 percent.

With the passage of time, it has found its way into water supplies and the environment.

As a result, activated carbon for water purification should be used to efficiently remove PFOS from tap water.

8.Herbicides: Weedkillers, as they are commonly known, are compounds that are used to suppress the development of undesirable plants such as weeds.

As a result, the eradication of undesirable plants becomes required. When activated carbon is used for filtration, it is extremely effective in eliminating the most prevalent 12 herbicides containing Atrazine and 2,4-D from the environment.


We hope that now that you are aware of all of the advantages that will be presented to you when you use activated carbon for water purification, you will make an informed decision about your next water purification purchase. This is a remarkable technology and material that is commonly used to filter water and is widely available. In addition to filtering, it addresses a number of concerns connected to the quality of tap water in the home. However, until it is used in conjunction with other filtering methods, all of the other beneficial minerals are preserved.

As a result, in order to provide a healthy living environment for the family, it is necessary to take certain procedures to purify the drinking water.

With our services, we hope to give businesses and organizations with effective water filtration approaches and assistance, allowing them to undertake large-scale projects with ease.

Our staff will take care of everything, from the administration of industrial projects and energy efficiency to water treatment and desalination.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.