Why do we need Carbon Filters to be part of air purification systems?
Gases and vapors are chemical pollutants that affect the health. Filters (such as HEPA Filters) are very good at removing particulate matter in the air. However, they are unable to remove gases and vapors. Gases and vapors are .01 microns or even much smaller in size. This means that these gases and vapors are 30 times smaller than the particles that HEPA filters can catch. HEPA filters only remove particles up to .3 microns in size with an efficiency of 99.97%. Hence air purifiers are equipped with activated carbon which has outstanding adsorption qualities. (For some extra knowledge – Absorption is different).
As mentioned in another article, World war had given us many inventions and applications. Activated carbon was used in gas masks to protect soldiers. Use of Carbon Filters as a method of purification has been around for several hundred years now (and is still one of the top ways). There is evidence that that carbon was used in ancient Egypt in medicine. In fact, use of charcoal to purify water goes to text written as old as 2,000 B.C.
Activated carbon is made by applying a specific process to charcoal to remove impurities. After processing the carbon, millions of pores open up in the carbon that are now ready to adsorb these harmful irritants. Even one gram of carbon provides a huge surface area from the perspective of adsorption. Consider the activated carbon like a sponge. The porosity of the activated carbon aids in adsorbing the VOC’s present in the air.
What does activated carbon really absorb?
Activated carbon adsorbs the following but not limited to
- Formaldehyde (Found in carpets, wood paneling, and furniture)
- Perfumes and chemicals in in household cleaning items
- VOC’s – Volatile Organic Compounds
- Pet dander
- Tobacco fumes
Generally Activated carbon filters are washable and reusable up to a point. Activated Carbon is generally used along with other technologies such as HEPA filters in today’s modern air purifiers. This is important because as standalone activated carbon is unable to remove solid particulate contaminants present in air. Activated Carbon is also sometimes known as Activated Charcoal. For Your Information, Charcoal is nothing but carbon and hence these terms are used interchangeably.
Activated carbon is an amazing product that has tremendous features. Activated carbon is very good at adsorbing ozone which is a major component of smog in India. Activated carbon will also adsorb majority of organic molecules particularly solvents and also an array of chemicals. This type of carbon also works very well in a wide range of temperature and humidity. Hence whether it’s the winters of Delhi, summers of Madhya Pradesh in India or the rains of Cherapunji, rest assured that you will get clean air. Best of all, Activated carbon is safe to handle and use and does not add much cost to the air purifiers!
Get ready to activate some carbon in your Home!