October 19, 2020

Granular Activated Carbon (activated charcoal) is an adsorbent derived from carbonaceous raw material

Although the term granular activated carbon is used generically, it can refer to dozens of similar – but not identical- adsorbents. Depending on raw material, method and degree of activation and other factors, activated carbons can perform differently in various applications.yongruida coconut shell activated carbon

What is Activated Carbon?

Granular Activated Carbons are a very versatile group of adsorbents, with capability for selectively adsorbing thousands of organic, and certain in- organic, materials. From medicinal uses of powdered carbons in ancient Egypt, through charred interiors of whiskey barrels, carbon has been activated and used as an adsorbent for centuries. Granular vapor phase activated carbon media was first widely used in WWI military gas masks and, in the years between World Wars, commercially in solvent recovery systems.

Granular liquid phase activated carbons achieved their first prominent applications following WWI’, in sugar de-colorization and in purification of antibiotics. Today, there are hundreds of applications — if diverse uses under the general heading of environmental control are counted separately, ongoing applications number in the thousands

Adsorption/Adsorbents/Granular Activated Carbon

Since adsorption is a comparatively specialized technology, a capsule definition of terms may be helpful. Adsorption is a surface phenomenon, in which molecules of adsorbate are attracted and held to the surface of an adsorbent until an equilibrium is reached between adsorbed molecules and those still freely distributed in the carrying gas or liquid. While the atoms within the structure of the adsorbent are attracted in all directions relatively equally, the atoms at the surface exhibit an imbalanced attractive force which the adsorbate molecules help to satisfy. Adsorption can then be understood to occur at any surface, such as window glass or a table top. The characteristic which typifies an adsorbent is the presence of a great amount of surface area; normally via the wall area or slots, capillaries or pores permeating its structure, in a very small volume and unit weight.

The type of adsorption which is dependent primarily on surface attraction, in which factors such as system temperature, pressure, or impurity concentration may shift the adsorption equilibrium, is given the further classification of physical adsorption. The electronic forces (Van der Waal’s forces) responsible for adsorption are related to those which cause like molecules to bind together, producing the phenomena of condensation and surface tension. Conceptually, some prefer the analogy of physical adsorption being like iron particles attracted to, and held by, a magnet. Physical adsorption is the most commonly applied type, but an important sub-classification is chemisorption. Chemisorption refers to a chemical reaction between the adsorbate and the adsorbent , or often reaction with a reagent which may be impregnated on the extensive adsorbent surface (see Impregnated Carbons, below). Thus physical adsorption/desorption retains the chemical nature of the adsorbate, while chemisorption alters it.

The surface phenomenon of adsorption may now be contrasted with apsorption, in which one material intermingles with the physical structure of the other; for example, phenol dissolving into fibers of cellulose acetate (absorption) versus being adhered by surface attraction to the outer layer of the fibers (adsorption).

Granular Activated Carbon granular carbon(activated charcoal) is an adsorbent derived from carbonaceous raw material, in which thermal or chemical means have been used to remove most of the volatile non-carbon constituents and a portion of the original carbon content, yielding a structure with high surface area. The resulting carbon structure may be a relatively regular network of carbon atoms derived from the cellular arrangement of the raw material, or it may be an irregular mass of crystallite platelets, but in either event the structure will be laced with openings to appear, under electron micrographic magnification, as a sponge like structure. The carbon surface is characteristically non-polar, that is, it is essentially electrically neutral. This non-polarity gives the activated carbon surface high affinity for comparatively non-polar adsorbates, including most organics. As an adsorbent, activated carbon is this respect contrasts with polar desiccating adsorbents such as silica gel and activated alumina. Granular Activated carbon will show limited affinity for water via capillary condensation, but not the surface attraction for water of a desiccant.