Activated carbon filter is used to remove chlorine and organic matter from the water. It also removes the color and odor from the water hence the turbidity of water is also removed. It plays an important role in water purification systems where chlorine is added for decontamination. ACF is unable to remove the microbes and hardness.
Related: Water Purification by Reverse Osmosis (RO) System
Activated carbon filter contains carbon particles of various sizes ranging from 10 to 50 mesh. Activated carbon is prepared from coconut shells by burning in the presence of oxygen. This carbon is then activated by steam or chemical methods. In steam activation this carbon is heated at 750- 950°C in the presence of steam. Steam activated carbon contains very fine pore size that is ideal for adsorption of components from water.
In chemical activation of carbon, it is mixed with a paste of zinc chloride and heated at 600-800°C. Chemically activated carbon has bigger pore size and ideal for adsorption of larger molecules from water.
Chlorine and organic compounds are adsorbed on the surface of activated carbon particles into their small pores. Reactivation of the carbon required again to increase the efficiency of activated carbon filter frequently.
There are some factors that affect the efficiency of the carbon filters such as contact time of water on carbon bed, concentration of contamination, temperature and pH of water. At high temperature activated carbon filter is less effective then low temperature. pH of water also affect the adsorption of contaminates. A 20 % more activated carbon surface is required when we increase pH by one unit from 7.
Ankur Choudhary is India's first professional pharmaceutical blogger, author and founder of Pharmaceutical Guidelines, a widely-read pharmaceutical blog since 2008. Sign-up for the free email updates for your daily dose of pharmaceutical tips.
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