Activated carbon is a form of charcoal that has been treated with oxygen to open up millions of tiny pores between its carbon atoms. Aside from being an excellent odor absorbent (as any cat owner would know), it can be used to remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as benzene and chlorine, as well as odors and colors, from water. Made from carbon-rich source materials such as wood, bamboo, nutshells, peach pits and coconut husks, the material is charred at high temperatures to produce a highly porous substance that attracts and holds organic chemicals inside it.
Effective heat processing is key to activated charcoal production. To learn the ins and outs of thermal processing and bulk materials handling for activated charcoal, attendees at the 36th International Activated Carbon Conference will visit Heyl & Patterson’s pilot plant testing laboratory in Pittsburgh during their September meeting. Heyl & Patterson will demonstrate equipment it manufactures for the production of activated carbon on September 17.