Air Purifiers, Cleaners & Ionizers
Reviews, Comparisons & Buying Guide
Carbon Air Filters: What They Are,
How they Work and the Difference in Carbon Filters
Carbon filtering is a method of filtering that uses a piece of activated
carbon to remove contaminants and impurities, utilizing chemical adsorption.
When a material adsorbs something, it attaches to it by chemical attraction.
The huge surface area of activated charcoal gives it countless bonding
sites. When certain chemicals pass next to the carbon surface, they attach
to the surface and are trapped.
Each piece of carbon is designed to provide
a large section of surface area, in order to allow contaminants the most
possible exposure to the filter media. One pound (454g) of activated
carbon contains a surface area of approximately 100 acres (1 km/kg).
This carbon is generally activated with a positive charge and is designed
to attract negatively charged water contaminants. Carbon filtering is
commonly used for water
purification, but is also used in air
There are two predominant types of carbon filters used in the filtration
industry: powdered block filters and granular activated filters. In general,
carbon block filters are more effective at removing a larger number of
contaminants, based upon the increased surface area of carbon.
Activated carbon, also called activated charcoal or activated
coal, is a form of carbon that
has been processed to make it extremely porous and thus to have a very
area available for adsorption or
chemical reactions. The word activated in
the name is sometimes substituted by active. Due to its high degree
of microporosity, just one gram of
activated carbon has a surface area in excess of 500 m (or about 2
tennis courts), as determined typically by nitrogen gas
adsorption. Sufficient activation for useful applications may come solely
from the high surface area, though further chemical treatment often enhances
the adsorbing properties of the material. Activated carbon is usually derived
from charcoal. Properties of activated carbon include:
- Has a capacity for virtually any vapor contaminant; it
will adsorb some of almost any vapor.
- Has a large capacity for organic molecules, especially
- Will adsorb and retain a wide variety of chemicals at
the same time.
- Has an extremely large capacity to catalytically
destroy ozone, a major component of smog.
- Works well under a wide range of temperature and
- Adsorbs odors and chemicals preferentially to
moisture. It is not a desiccant and will release moisture to adsorb chemicals.
- Can be used as a carrier of one material to attract
and hold or react with another material.
- Is inert and safe to handle and use.
Activated carbon can be enhanced and impregnated and/or custom blended
to be a more specialized adsorbant. For instance, Airpura
Air Cleaners offers a super impregnated carbon blend where the problems are formaldehyde
or ammonia based.
The Amount of Carbon Matters
Activated carbon adsorbs to it's surface. When there is no more surface
left to adsorb to the carbon, it is depleted of its capability to be effective.
Large amounts of carbon will last longer then small amounts because it
has larger amounts of surface area for adsorption. Also, depending on amounts
of pollutants being adsorbed, a small amount of carbon can be depleted
within weeks making it useless.Airpura
Air Cleaners offer either a 18
or 26 pound carbon bed.
The Thickness of Carbon Matters
The more contact time carbon has with a pollutant,
the better chances of it adsorbing it. The thicker the carbon filter the
better the adsorption. If the pollutant has to go through a long maze
of activated carbon, it's chances are better of being adsorbed. That means
that thin carbon filters that are used in inexpensive air purifiers
are not very effective at removing chemicals, fumes and odors from the
Coconut Shell Activated Carbon
Coconut shell carbon's
superior level of hardness makes them cleaner than most other carbons and
gives them longer life expectancy. This, combined with their high activity
level, makes them well suited for use in any kind of carbon filter or system.
Aside from general air purification and deodorization, our coconut shell
carbons are also very effective in solvent recovery applications.
Acid Washed Granular Coconut Shell Activated Carbon, like
its name, comes from the coconut shell that has been undergone steam activation
process to create its activated carbon form. During activation, it creates
millions of pores at the surface of the carbon thus increasing the total
surface area. Activated carbon pores can be divided into three general
- Micro-pores (diameter in the range of less than 2 nm)
(diameter in the range of 2 - 25 nm)
- Macro-pores (diameter in the
range of above 25 nm)
Coconut shell carbon has mainly micro-pores to
meso-pores, and due to its unique distribution of pores diameter, coconut
shell activated carbon are very popular in the gas phase purification
and potable water purification industries. Airpura
Air Cleaners use Coconut
Anthracite is a hard,
compact variety of mineral coal that
has a high lustre.
It has the highest carbon count and
contains the fewest impurities of all coals, despite its lower calorific content.
Anthracite is the highest of the metamorphic rank,
in which the carbon content is between 92% and 98%. The
term is applied to those varieties of coal which do not give off tarry or
other hydrocarbon vapors
when heated below their point of ignition.
Anthracite ignites with difficulty and burns with a short, blue, and smokeless
flame. Anthracite carbon is best for exhaust fumes, burning wood or petrochemicals.
Airpura offers Anthracit Carbon as an option.
Airpura Commercial HEPA and Carbon Air Cleaners
is a completely new air cleaner with all the design improvements lacking in
other similar technology systems. Airpura design principles include a simplified
unobstructed air flow for quieter more efficient performance and reduced noise.
The prefilter can be vacuumed through the mesh for easy monthly maintenance,
then replaced every 12 months. Two special microbial (bacteria and viruses)
suppressing filters help to protect the hefty 18 or 26 pound carbon bed. Felt
gaskets are used to seal the filter chamber, eliminating rubber seal off
gassing. The metal capped HEPA filter removes the possibility of any
plastic vapors from non-metal caps.
Airpura uses a powerful, variable speed integrated fan/motor, letting you
choose the rate you clean your air from super quiet to premium power filtering
with 560 CFM capacity. With Airpura's effective pressure sealed filter chamber,
all air is filtered; NO particles or gases escape. Other systems allow
leakage and can't achieve the claimed 99.97% HEPA efficiency. And, Airpura
offers the cleanest air, using superior quality true HEPA and activated carbon
(special carbon blends are available) with optional UV sterilization to deliver
truly clean air for home, office and industrial applications. Airpura is available
models and three colors: Cream, white and black. more
Find the Right Air Purifier for
Your Unique Problem
It's no mystery that the air inside our homes, offices and nearly every building
we enter is contaminated with
toxic air pollution problems. But wading through the plethora of air purification
technologies and models to make our living and working space free of pollution
can be a daunting task, especially with the misinformation presented by so
many salespeople and web sites. There are many different air purification technologies
and air filters on the market, but no one air purifier technology can solve
every air pollution problem, which is why we carry different brands. For help
determining which air purifier is right for you, click on one of the below
links or call us toll free at 866-875-4386 (US and Canada).
Air Purifiers: by
Problem - by
Technology - by
Brand - Air
Purifier Buying Guide
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