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Activated Carbon (AC) Filter

Activated Carbon (AC) Filter

Activated Carbon (AC) filtration is one of the most common home filtration methods. An AC filtration system is ideal for removing many organic contaminants, such as chlorine and hydrogen sulfide, significantly improving the taste and odor of drinking water. These contaminants are removed through a chemical absorption method.

Activated Carbon (AC) is simply charcoal that has been treated with oxygen. Carbon (charcoal) itself is already one of nature’s powerful absorbents. The use of charcoal in removing impurities dates back to the Egyptians and their use of it in manufacturing bronze. Charcoal can come from wood, coconut shells or coal. Although more expensive, coconut shells have been proven to be more effective. Once treated the charcoal has millions of tiny pores and a small ion positive charge; increasing the carbons absorption rate. As water passes through the activated carbon, organic impurities are removed by absorption into the pores and negatively charged chemicals are attracted to the positively charged AC and removed from the water.

There are 3 types of activated carbon that are used in filtration systems; Activated carbon block, granular activated carbon (GAC) and catalytic carbon. Most home AC filtration systems will use either a powdered block carbon or granular activated carbon (GAC) Effectiveness of the AC filtration system depends on the amount of carbon and how long the contaminant is exposed to the carbon.

Exposure is greatly affected by the flow rate of the water; the lower the rate the more exposure. With increased exposure the contaminants are in contact with the AC longer allowing more absorption to occur.

A home that uses water frequently would benefit most from a Whole House Carbon Based filtration system. The term “Whole House” refers to the placement of the filter, not the type. Not all filtration systems can function as a “Whole House” system, due to water volume and maintenance. One major benefit to a Whole-House system is not just good tasting water but the removal of impurities throughout the home. Clean filtered water reduces sediment and residue prolonging the life of household appliances.