How effective is activated carbon for water purification?

How effective is activated carbon for water purification?

Charcoal filters, or also known as activated carbon filters, possess small fragments of carbon, either in block or granular form. These pieces have been processed to be highly porous. The surface area of a field (6400 sqm) is equivalent to 4 gm. of activated carbon, which is ideal for the filtration of water. So, now you must be thinking about why people prefer activated carbon for water purification?

As it has a huge surface area, the charcoal filters effectively absorb contaminants along with other substances. When you pour water down through the charcoal filter, all the contaminants present in it sticks to charcoal filter. Also, the temperature and flow of water are important factors that determine the effectiveness. For instance, cold water should be poured at a lower pressure into a small charcoal filter.

Particle size is also an important aspect that needs to be considered when it comes to determining the effectiveness of activated carbon filters. Granular activated carbon or GAC doesn’t have a specific limit as its porous. On the other hand, when the activated carbon is in the form of blocks, it can only remove particles ranging from 0.5-10 micron.

Read: Activated Carbon for Water Filtration: How does it work?

How does it purify the water?

The tap water that you use has many contaminants and chemicals which can have adverse effects on your health in the long-run. Therefore, activated carbon for water purification is strongly recommended. Activated carbon sucks out hundreds of chemicals and contaminants from the water.

Recent studies conducted by NSF and EPA claim that 60 to 80 chemicals can be removed along with the reduction of 22 to 30 chemicals.

The quality and form of an activated carbon determine how effectively contaminants and chemicals are removed. As per the report of EPA, activated carbon technology is capable of removing all the recognized organic contaminants, i.e., 32 such as THMs. The most common 12 herbicides, along with 14 pesticides such as glyphosate, don’t stand a chance against activated carbon.

Additionally, charcoal filters or activated carbon is among one the levels in whole house filter, Reverse Osmosis (RO), UV filter, and many other technologies of filtration.

What harmful contaminants and chemicals does it remove?

Now the question arises, what chemicals and contaminants can it eliminate? Does it remove every particle that’s harmful to a human body? Mentioned below are some of the contaminants and chemicals it removes. Once you finish reading it, you’d be aware of what benefits does an activated carbon filter provides you.

1. Pesticides: As everyone knows, pesticides are used in agriculture to keep away pests from damaging the crops. These pesticides land into freshwater sources such as rivers, ponds, and groundwater. Despite treatment, sometimes it ends up in tap water. Therefore, activated carbon for water purification is used. As many as 14 identifies, pesticides can be removed, such as Chlordecone, Chlordane, Lindane, etc.

2. Chlorine: To make tap water safe, chlorine is infused with water. This might change the smell as well as the taste of the water in a way that you wouldn’t like. In order to remove this substance, an activated carbon filter is suitable. It’s capable of making your tap water 95% free of Chlorine.

3. Chlorine bi-products: Chlorine bi-products are the most important concern about the tap waters. Bi-products like THMs are considered to be potentially cancerous. When compared with other technologies, activated carbon proves to be the most effective in removing chlorine bi-products. EPA says it can remove as many as 32 by-products of chlorine.

4. Nitrate: You must have been taught in high school that Nitrate is very important for plants. Nitrogen plays an important role in the growth of plants, which is not harmful to humans. However, when the amount becomes extremely high, it can possess problems like Methemoglobinemia, which happens due to a lack of oxygen. Around 50-70% of Nitrate can be reduced from water when you use activated carbon for water purification.

5. Microplastics: The problem of Microplastic has become a major issue for every country. Microplastics are small fragments of plastic that end up in freshwater sources. Given the fact that they’re very small in size, one cannot see it with a naked eye. Plastic is harmful to the human body in numerous ways. Therefore, when you use an activated carbon filter, all the microplastics would be washed away.

6. Chloride: When it comes to balancing blood pressure, blood vacuum, and pH balance of body liquids, Chloride is a savior. Though it doesn’t have any adverse effects on health, it makes the water taste salty when it’s in a high amount. During the chlorination process, harmful viruses and bacteria are removed through the help of chlorine. However, activated carbon filters play a major role in eliminating the salty taste of water. It reduces chlorine content by up to 50-70%.

7. PFOS: This synthetic chemical is mostly used in metal plating, stain repellents, and fire-fighting foam. With time, it has landed up in water resources and the environment. A study that was conducted in the year 2002 revealed that PFOS could be toxic for mammalian species. Therefore, to effectively remove PFOS from the tap water, activated carbon for water purification should be used, which successfully removes PFOS, PFOA, PFNA, and PFAS.

8. Herbicides: Popularly called as weedkillers, these are substances that are used for controlling the growth of unwanted plants such as weed. As you all know, the growth of unwanted plants reduces the availability of space, water, and minerals for main plants such as agricultural plants. This makes the removal of unwanted plants necessary. When activated carbon is used for filtration, it can easily eradicate the most common 12 herbicides involving Atrazine and 2,4-D.


Now that you know every benefit that will be provided to you when you use activated carbon for water purification, we hope your next purchase will be activated carbon filter. This is an exceptional technology and material which is widely used to filter water. Along with the filtration, it solves several issues related to the quality of tap water. However, all other healthy minerals remain intact, unless you combine it with other technologies for filtration. With the rapidly developing industrial section, our water sources are getting more and more contaminated. Therefore, to ensure a healthy living condition for the family, one needs to take certain steps to purify the drinking water.

If you are looking for a reliable company for your business or industry energy efficiency needs, you can hire the services of Keiken Engineering. We aim to provide companies and organizations with efficient water filtration methodologies and support to tackle their huge projects at ease. Our team guarantees success at a professional level. Right from the management of industrial project and energy efficiency, to water treatment and desalination, our team will take care of all. If you have got further queries, you can contact us at info@keiken.es, or you can call us at +34936811650 or +34910577254.