Carbon is a substance that has a long history of being used to absorb impurities and is perhaps the most powerful absorbent known to man. One pound of carbon contains a surface area of roughly 125 acres and can absorb literally thousands of different chemicals. Activated carbon filter is carbon which has a slight electro-positive charge added to it, making it even more attractive to chemicals and impurities. As the water passes over the positively charged carbon surface, the negative ions of the contaminants are drawn to the surface of the carbon granules.
Activated Carbon Filter is a hidden gem inside the filter
Activated carbon filter mainly use for home water treatment. Although both are effective, carbon block filters generally have a higher contaminant removal ratio. The two most important factors affecting the efficiency of activated carbon water filttration are the amount of carbon in the unit and the amount of time the contaminant spends in contact with it. The more carbon the better.
Activated carbon filters are usually rated by the size of the particles they are able to remove, measured in microns, and generally range from 50 microns (least effective) down to 0.5 microns (most effective).
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There are two principal mechanisms by which activated carbon removes contaminants from water; adsorption, and catalytic reduction, a process involving the attraction of negatively-charged contaminant ions to the positively-charged activated carbon. Organic compounds are removed by adsorption and residual disinfectants such as chlorine and chloramines are removed by catalytic reduction.
Activated carbon water filter is very common in a number of home water treatment systems. It uses as a standalone filter to reduce or eliminate bad tastes and odors, chlorine, and many organic contaminants in municipal (pre-treated or chlorinated) water supplies to produce a significantly improved drinking water. It is also very commonly used as a pre-treatment as part of a reverse osmosis system to reduce many organic contaminants, chlorine, and other items that could foul the reverse osmosis membrane. 0.5 micron carbon block filters are commonly used to remove cysts such as giardia and cryptosporidium.
What Contaminants does it remove?
Activated carbon filters remove/reduce many organic chemicals, pesticides and herbicides, as well as chlorine, benzene, trihalomethane (THM) compounds, radon, solvents, and hundreds of other man-made chemicals found in tap water. Some activated carbon water filters are moderately effective at removing some, but not all, heavy metals. In addition, densely compacted carbon block filters mechanically remove particles down to 0.5 micron, including Giardia and Cryptosporidium, turbidity, and particulates.
How often should you replace your activated carbon filter?
Activated carbon water filter require very little maintenance, however, it is very important to ensure that filter replacement schedules are followed to ensure proper filtration at all times. Do not wait for bad tastes and odors to return to the water before deciding the filter needs replacement as this is an indication that the filter is no longer able to completely remove contaminants and that it has surpassed its service life.