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Activated carbon filter

Activated carbon filter
Activated carbon

Complete guide of the activated carbon filter

Activated carbon, found in the process of indoor air filtration, is a common and widely used material. Its properties are to retain and fix the gases and odors in contact with it. Used for its great efficiency in the fight against VOCs, fine particles and odors, it is included in the filters packs delivered by AIR ET SANTÉ. It has many advantages.

Activated carbon filters

Activated carbon is a porous material made from the carbonization of organic vegetable material (coal, wood bark, coconut shells, olive pits), which allows its beneficial properties to be activated. Then, it undergoes a second step called "activation" to reinforce its adsorption capacity.

It is originally a material used for the treatment and filtration of water for almost 2000 years and then for the bleaching of sugar in the 20th century. Its main property was to eliminate the taste and odor and it was available in the shape of powder until the 1930s. Since the First World War, granular activated carbon has been used in gas masks to protect soldiers from battle smokes. It was then used in the shape of a cartridge that could be replaced when the gas binding capacity was saturated.

Today, activated carbon is used in many products for :

  • Water treatment,
  • Indoor air purification,
  • In pharmacy

With activated carbon, the term "adsorption" should be used, since the air molecules are fixed inside the holes or on the surface of the activated carbon grains. Because of its porous aspect, activated carbon can adsorb and retain a great quantity of molecules: the width of the pores measures between 1 and 2 nanometers.

Adsorption is not to be confused with absorption, which is a different process. Absorption is the process in which liquid or solid bodies composed of atoms or molecules, brought into contact with a solid material, are ingested/incorporated with it (e.g. sponge, clothes).

What is an activated carbon filter?

An activated carbon filter represents the use of the exceptional properties of activated carbon to create a filter capable of fixing and therefore eliminate organic and chemical pollutants from the air. It is used in different types of filtration systems. We find it in filters adapted to indoor air purification technologies, but also in a kitchen extractor hood.

AIR ET SANTÉ's indoor air purifiers are all equiped with filter packs, a product that combines HEPA 13 or 14 filters and an activated carbon filter.  The more molecules from pollutants the activated carbon adsorbs, the more the pores of the granulates become saturated. Our air purifiers take these changes into account; they have filter change indicators that inform you when the filter is too consumed and needs to be changed.

Why use an activated carbon filter?

The activated carbon filter offers many benefits. Smart, it traps most of the air pollutants and in particular VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), ozone, molecules or fine particles causing the creation of odors (tobacco, humidity, aerosols, household products, etc.) that are harmful to our health.

370 grams of activated carbon have a total adsorption surface of 243,000 m².
The air that passes through the filter and the air purifier is purified from the adsorbed gases. The durability of the efficiency of the activated carbon filter is difficult to measure since it depends on several factors:

  • Humidity : If there is high humidity in a room, the efficiency of the activated carbon is reduced.
  • The ventilation speed of the device : When it is high, the activated carbon does not have enough time to cleanse all the pollutants found in the air.
  • The pollutants encountered can have an impact on the filter which will saturate at a different speed.
  • The size of the activated carbon grains and their density.
  • The number of associated filters : The more filters there are in a pack, the more the activated carbon filter will be protected from the fine particles to be adsorbed.

Whether you choose a basic or advanced model, you can breathe more easily with the help of an activated carbon filter.

All of our air purifiers have a sequence of filters including a HEPA filter and an activated carbon filter.

If you are not already familiar with them :