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Activated carbon, also known as activated charcoal, is a form of carbon that has been processed to make it extremely porous and highly adsorbent. This means that it has a large surface area and can attract and hold onto a wide range of impurities and contaminants.
Activated carbon is used in a variety of applications, including water treatment, air purification, and as a general adsorbent for various chemical compounds.
In water treatment, activated carbon is commonly used as a pre-treatment or polishing step to remove dissolved organic compounds and chlorine. The carbon can remove chlorine by adsorbing chlorine molecules which prevent harmful disinfection byproducts and improves the taste and odor of the water.
Activated carbon can also be used in air purification systems as an adsorbent to remove volatile organic compounds and odors. The adsorbent also is used in gas-phase applications such as removing VOCs, mercury and other contaminants in industrial settings.
Activated carbon can be made from a variety of sources such as wood, coal, coconut shells and other natural materials. The choice of source material depends on the specific application, for example, coconut shell activated carbon is most often used for water treatment due to its high purity and effectiveness.
Activated carbon products are available in various forms, such as granular activated carbon (GAC), powdered activated carbon (PAC) and as Extruded activated carbon block (EACB). The form of the product is based on the application, as well as the type of equipment that is used to handle it.