What is activated carbon filtration?

Activated carbon: how does it work?

Activated carbon (a.k.a. activated charcoal) is one of the technologies employed by Eoleaf’s air purification devices. It is very commonly used in both air filters and water filters; it is, in fact, one of the most common filtration compounds in the industrial world. Activated carbon is an incredibly versatile substance and can filter both gaseous and aqueous pollutants. It can often be found in drinking water filters, cigarette filters, aquariums, and fallout shelters.

Activated carbon is a carbonaceous material that has been specially treated to enhance its ability to absorb other compounds. Its structure is porous, making it capable of fixing itself to pollution particles and gases. In an area of 400 to 2,500 m2, one gram of activated carbon can single-handedly absorb the pollutants present. It is typically made by burning bark or coal. Here at Eoleaf, we do not use coal or wood to create our activated charcoal filters: we use coconut shells, an eco-friendly method to create charcoal!

Volatile Organic Compounds are absorbed by activated carbon filters 

Which types of pollution can activated carbon target?

Following the pre-filter (which is used to capture large particles like hair and dust), the activated carbon filter is next in line in the air purification process.

The activated carbon filters used in our products have a high density and high absorption capacity. This enables them to clean the air of many chemical pollutants and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are harmful volatile gases and are a common result of industrial activity. Some of their most common sources are organic solvents, cleaning agents, synthetic agents, and more, and they are directly responsible for degrading air quality. Sprays, cleaning, and cosmetic products, paints, and solvents are some of the main sources of VOCs. The VOCs that are most easily absorbed by the activated carbon filter are nitrogen oxides, CO2 and CO, formaldehyde, acetone, benzene, ethanol, butane, and toluene.

Activated carbon filters are also incredibly effective to remove bad odours. This is why some storage boxes for cheese or vacuum cleaners use activated carbon.

Another great application for activated carbon filters is its action against all types of smoke. It is, therefore, excellent in combating second-hand smoking.

Cigarette smoke

Activated carbon’s effectiveness in air purification

The effectiveness of an activated carbon filter depends upon many factors: some, for example, are the material with which it is made, its shape and density, and its contact surface, among others.

Eoleaf’s activated charcoal filters are activated by bamboo. Bamboo creates a high quality filter with increased porosity, and it is very useful in removing impurities. Our activated carbon filter is cylindrical in shape, which increases its contact surface and volume.

Since activated carbon acts on both gaseous and liquid pollutants, it is worth noting that the relative humidity level of the ambient air also impacts its performance. For example, in a room that is too humid, the activated carbon will act like a sponge and absorb the water present in the air. This is one of the reasons why, at Eoleaf, we recommend using our devices in an environment that does not exceed a humidity level of 65%. If the humidity level exceeds 65%, it is recommended that you supplement your air purifier with a dehumidifier.

In conclusion

The benefits of activated carbon speak for themselves and explain why activated carbon is such a popular filtration material. It is a very versatile material with an easy-to-understand method of action and long service life.

Eoleaf's range of air purifiers

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