How Does Activated Carbon Filter Water?

Guest post by Trent Anderson

Most water treatment plants around the world use a combination of filters and chemicals to remove debris and harmful bacteria from the water before it is piped to your home.

This is standard practice and has led to a huge debate on the use of chemicals, although the basic fact is that the water is safe when it leaves the treatment centre.

If you have any concerns regarding the chemicals in the water or any odour and taste that may be picked up on its way to you, then you should consider Sydney water filters.

The rising awareness of environmental effects on the human body has prompted many people to install a water filter in their home.

In fact, in 2006 26% of households were using a water filter and that figure is certain to have increased by today.

But, before you install your own water filter it is important to discover what the filter is and how it works.

Activated Carbon

By far the most common type of water filter is activated carbon.

Carbon is actually the same chemical as charcoal, which has been used for centuries as an effective water filter.

Activated carbon occurs when the charcoal is treated with oxygen which opens hundreds of microscopic holes
in the carbon.

The process itself involves placing the carbon in a tank without oxygen and heating it to 900° C.

It is then bombarded with argon and nitrogen before being placed in another tank with steam, oxygen
and heated to 1200°C.

Why Activating It Is Important

By activating the carbon, the surface area is greatly increased so any liquid will flow round and through the carbon and will be forced to touch the surface at some point.

This is why activated carbon is effective at treating water; every molecule of water will come into contact with the  activated carbon.

Activated carbon is excellent at adsorbing odorous or even colored substances from liquids and gases.

When the water passes through the activated carbon these negative items are attracted to the carbon and stick to it.

The water continues through becoming purer in the process.

Of course carbon cannot attract every single molecule on the planet, but the ones it does attach are usually the ones you are trying to remove from your water.

These include chlorine and other organic chemicals.
Non organic chemicals such as sodium and nitrates are not attracted to the carbon and so pass straight through.

Time Limit

Activated carbon is so effective because it has thousands of tiny pores to increase the surface and capture the unwanted chemicals.

However, once all these pores are full it will no longer be effective and must be replaced.

This is why it is essential to monitor your activated carbon filter and replace it when necessary.

Whatever your thoughts on using a water filter, if you dislike the taste and odour it is worth considering.