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How do activated carbon filters actually work?

edited outubro 2020 in Geral

With water so important to our lives, it’s hardly surprising we like it clean, pure, and tasty. That’s one reason people spend so much money on water filters that can remove any harmful impurities. How do they work—and do we really need them? Let’s take a closer look!activated carbon for pharmacy

ACTIVATED CARBON

The most common household water filters use what are known as activated carbon granules (sometimes called active carbon or AC) based on charcoal (a very porous form of carbon, made by burning something likewood in a reduced supply of oxygen). Charcoal is like a cross between the graphite “lead” in a pencil and a sponge. It has a huge internal surface area, packed with nooks and crannies, that attract and trap chemical impurities through a process called adsorption (where liquids or gases become trapped by solids or liquids).

But while charcoal is great for removing many common impurities (including chlorine-based chemicals introduced during waste-water purification, some pesticides, and industrial solvents), it can’t cope with “hardness” (limescale), heavy metals (unless a special type of activated carbon filter is used), sodium, nitrates, fluorine, or microbes. The main disadvantage of activated carbon is that the filters eventually clog up with impurities and have to be replaced. That means there’s an ongoing (and sometimes considerable) cost.

ION EXCHANGE
Ion-exchange filters are particularly good at “softening” water (removing limescale). They’re designed to split apartatoms of a contaminating substance to make ions (electrically charged atoms with too many or too few electrons). Then they trap those ions and release, instead, some different, less troublesome ions of their own—in other words, they exchange “bad” ions for “good” ones.

DISTILLATION
One of the simplest ways to purify water is to boil it, but although the heat kills off many different bacteria, it doesn’t remove chemicals, limescale, and other contaminants. Distillation goes a step further than ordinary boiling: you boil water to make steam, then capture the steam and condense (cool) it back into water in a separate container. Since water boils at a lower temperature than some of the contaminants it contains (such as toxic heavy metals), these remain behind as the steam separates away and boils off. Unfortunately, though, some contaminants (including volatile organic compounds or VOCs) boil at a lower temperature than water and that means they evaporate with the steam and aren’t removed by the distillation process. https://www.coconutactivatedcarbon.com

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