Here's how activated carbon works in water purification
- Activated carbon has a huge surface area, typically 500 to 1500 square meters per gram. This large surface area allows it to trap molecules within its pores through van der Waals forces, making it an effective material for removing contaminants from water.
- The porous structure of activated carbon contains a mixture of micropores, mesopores and macropores. Since the pores have different sizes, this allows them to effectively trap particles of different sizes.
- Depending on the application and target contaminants, there are different types of activated carbon, including powdered activated carbon (PAC), granular activated carbon (GAC), and activated carbon fibers (ACF).
- Activated carbon is a frequent choice of filter media, which greatly increases its applications. Activated carbon has been widely used in both domestic and commercial water treatment, including drinking water treatment and wastewater treatment.
- Activated carbon can be used in combination with other treatment methods, such as integrated treatment or in combination with reverse osmosis systems, in municipal water treatment plants.
There are several factors to consider when selecting activated carbon for water purification:
- Type of contamination: depending on the specific type of contaminants present in the water, determine the type of activated carbon needed.
- Type of purification: determine the purification process that will be used. For example: adsorption, catalytic oxidation or ion exchange.
- Particle size: The particle size of the activated carbon affects the flow rate and contact time between the water and the carbon. For example - smaller particles provide more surface area but may result in higher pressure drops.
- Budget and sustainability: The cost of activated carbon and whether it can be reused or regenerated should be considered along with its effectiveness.
- Consultation with a specialist: A specialist can help you choose the right type of activated carbon for your application and provide recommendations for its use.
Thus, activated carbon is a universal and widely used material for water purification due to its excellent adsorption abilities. Its ability to remove a wide range of contaminants from water makes it an effective component in a variety of water treatment systems, from small household filters to large municipal water treatment plants.