About activated carbon

Global supply and delivery of premium activated carbon

Mellifiq distributes and implements activated carbon solutions and services to any corner of the world. Our activated carbon is also used in many of our water and air filtration systems.

What is activated carbon?

Activated carbon is a form of carbon processed to have very small, pores and large total pore volume. This volume creates a huge total area for adsorption and chemical reactions.

The volume is created mainly by activation which removes unwanted chemical compounds and increases the porosity and the area. The activation can be done by physical activation, carbonization, activation/oxidation, and chemical activation.

Activated carbon is obtained from burning charcoal, or burning carbon-rich materials, such as coconut husk, bamboo, nutshells, coal, peat, and wood at very high temperatures, and with addition of other substances, like salts.

One gram of activated carbon can have a surface area of 500 to 1,500 sqm.


Questions and Answers about activated carbon


How do I handle activated carbon in a safe way?

Handling of activated carbon should always be done according to the safety data sheet (SDS). Generally activated carbon is safe, but should not be inhaled or handling near potential ignition sources.

How does activated carbon treat air and water?

The primary method of purification with activated carbon is through a process known as adsorption, which means that substances, normally non-polar, are filtered through adhesion of molecules onto the large active surface inside the carbon filter bed. It should not be confused with absorption which means that a medium is mixed with or dissolved in another media.

How often does the filter media need changing?

This depends completely on the load under which the carbon bed is operated, which is a function of flow and concentration of contaminants which are to be adsorbed. There are several ways to extend the life time of an activated carbon filter bed, such as combination with other technologies or varying the filter bed size during design phase. As a rule of thumb, a typical media change can happen 6-12 months after installation, but can vary significantly. In the end, an activated carbon system should be designed based on total cost of ownership. Please contact the Mellifiq project consulting department for a complete analysis package.

Can activated carbon be reused?

Yes, most carbon types can be reused after undergoing a process called regeneration in which a heat and chemical process desorbs the treated contaminants and reactivated the carbon surfaces. Regenerated carbon maintains most of the capacity of the virgin carbon and can normally be repeated 5-10 times before any observable decline in performance.

What is virgin carbon?

Virgin carbon is produced directly from its raw material source and has not been regenerated.

What is the difference between powdered and granular activated carbon?

Both powdered and granular carbon are actually granular. Powdered carbon has been produced with a mesh smaller than US mesh 80.

What can activated carbon be used for?

Activated carbon is used to purify and filter air and water from pollutants, odors and other harmful VOCs. Activated carbon is produced from wood, coal, coconut shells and other materials.

How many types of activated carbon are there?

There are several types of activated carbon but there are three main forms of activated carbon, Granular activated carbon (GAC), Powder activated carbon (PAC), and Extruded (pelletized) activated carbon (EAC). Granular and extruded activated carbon also undergo impregnation or catalyzation to enhance the removal of some specific groups of contaminants.

What does activated carbon treat?

It can generally be used to filter mid-size to large molecules with molar mass 80-190 g/mole. Smaller and larger contaminants can be treated with specialized types of carbon, such as impregnated or catalytic filter media.

What is meant by agglomerated activated carbon?

Agglomerated carbon is produced by pulverizing the carbon and pressing it into compact briquettes. After this process the heat and steam activated is performed to produce high performing activated agglomerated carbon.

Do you offer replacement services?

Yes, Mellifiq coordinates and executes filter media change globally.

How is activated carbon normally delivered?

The most common way is to pack activated carbon in 25 kg or 500 kg bags, packed in 20 ft containers for most economical shipping costs.

What is mesh size?

Granular activated carbon particles is produced through applying various standardized mesh, which produce a certain particle size within a particle size distribution. For example, a 8×4 mesh produces particles which lie 90% within size distribution 2.38 to 4.76 mm granules. The mesh size refers to the number of mesh perforations per inch.