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Activated Carbon: The Key to a Sustainable Future
Published Date: 27 Apr 2022

Activated carbon is a versatile form of carbon with numerous applications across different industries and can be customized based on the requirements & purposes. It is known as 'activated' when heated with a gas that opens up several tiny pores to absorb substances. While people often misunderstand activated carbon & activated charcoal as two different things, they both are the same.

A Brief about the Basics of Activated Carbons

The application of activated carbon is extensive across industries like healthcare, automotive, gold mining, water treatment, and food & beverages, among others. While activated carbon is a porous substance that attracts & holds different organic compounds inside, it is widely used for several purification applications for air, gas, and liquid volumes and eliminates contamination. 

For instance, if an individual ingests chemicals or experiences food poisoning, the doctors can suggest they drink a small amount of activated carbon that would soak up the poisons and remove them from the body. Just like that, these compounds are also used in water treatment, where the activated carbon is added to the treatment plant in a suitable amount to absorb the organic contamination & hazardous and forward the purified water to the next water treatment processes. 

Since organic compounds are best absorbed by activated carbon, their application is gaining swift momentum. Yet, it can also eliminate a few inorganic compounds. 

Some Commonly Available Activated Carbons

Although there are more than 100 kinds of activated carbon available in the market for different applications depending upon the complexity, variation, size, and method, among other categories, listed below are a few commonly used activated carbon in the market. Let us have a look to find out more about these carbons.  

  • Powdered Activated Carbon (PAC) 

Powdered Activated Carbon is in the form of fine particles with a large surface-to-volume ratio that brings greater efficiency in absorbing contamination. In fact, these particles are added directly to different process units, such as clarifiers, rapid mix basins, raw water intakes, etc.

  • Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) 

Granular Activated Carbon particles are relatively larger than the powdered activated carbon particles and have smaller external surface areas. This type of activated carbon is used extensively for adsorption of vapors & gases and purification of the air owing to its quick diffusing capabilities. Hence, Granular Activated Carbon is a prominent type of carbon used in water treatment across different corners of the world.

  • Extruded Activated Carbon (EAC) or Pelletized Activated Carbons

Another prominent type of activated carbon used extensively across industries like water treatment, healthcare, and food & beverages, among others, is the Extruded Activated Carbon or Pelletized Activated Carbons that fuse with powdered activated carbon and a binding agent.

These elements all together produce a tough, cylindrical or spherical particle that is used principally for absorbing dust, chlorine, taste, and odor from different materials that need purification. Owing to its low-pressure drop, excellent mechanical strength, and low dust content, the demand for this activated carbon is gaining swift momentum across multiple industrial verticals.

Some Extensively Practiced Applications of Activated Carbon

Due to the versatility of Activated carbon, there are plenty of applications where these elements play a crucial role in purification. In fact, activated carbon can also be customized as per the needs and expand its capabilities. Yet, the most common applications of activated carbon include the following:

  • Efficient removal of volatile organic compounds like Benzene, Trichloroethylene (TCE), and Tetrachloroethylene (PCE)
  • Swift absorption & elimination of Hydrogen Sulfide (HS) & waste gases
  • Popularly used for water treatment to kill bacteria & absorb organic compounds, and in turn, making the water potable. 
  • Efficient removal of elements like Geosmin & 2-Methylisoborneol causing taste & odor. 

Owing to these advantages and several other factors we have talked about in this blog, the Global Activated Carbon Market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of around XX% during the forecast period of 2022-27.

Other Common Applications of Activated Carbon

While Activated Carbon is gaining swift recognition & adoption across different applications, it has also reached its utilization across households, cosmetics, and other potential sectors throughout the globe. Although several applications are yet to undergo rigorous research & studies to say anything for sure, there are a few uses that have been successful for some people around different corners of the world. Let us read the blog further to find out more. 

  • Reducing Gas

According to some study reports, it is said that the consumption of a small amount of activated carbon approximately 8 hours before an abdominal ultrasound can reduce the amount of gas from the gut. It, in turn, might make it efficient to get clear ultrasound images. However, as stated above, there is still more research required to back up these stats. 

  • Relieving Diarrhea

While the call of emergency can compel people to try out anything over-the-counter, tackling diarrhea is one of the many areas that need more study to confirm that activated carbon can treat it. 

  • Water filtration

The use of Activated Charcoal is commonly known for water filtration by removing contaminants, suspended solids, & microorganisms like bacteria without fluctuating the pH level or taste of the water. 

Summing Up

By the end of this blog, we know that activated carbon is a highly porous & low-cost material that exhibits several properties of purification & absorption of hazards & contaminations. As a result, it is gaining swift momentum across several industries for multiple applications & the most popular ones include water treatment, air & gas purification, food & beverages, metal extraction, and pharmaceutical.

Hence, the coming years are projecting remunerative growth opportunities for the leading manufacturers to bring innovations & enhance the capabilities of activated carbon and, in turn, positively influence the Global Activated Carbon Market.

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