What is the Difference Between an Activated Carbon Filter and a Regular Carbon Filter?

Granular activated carbon filters are made with charcoal that has been ground and held together loosely inside a cartridge or other container. On the other hand, carbon block filters are manufactured by grinding activated carbon to a fine powder. The main difference between a water filter that uses activated carbon and one that uses charcoal is in the filter materials themselves. Both are hard, porous substances that capture contaminants.

The main difference between charcoal and activated carbon as a filtration medium is determined by the actual materials. Many people use the terms charcoal and activated charcoal interchangeably, and this is a mistake. Although both are hard porous materials that are well suited to water filtration, they are different. There is evidence to show that activated carbon is a better option because it is a purer and better quality material compared to charcoal.

There are two main types of carbon filters on the market, GAC and Carbon Block. Both carbon block and GAC filters are made of activated carbon. Carbon-based filters filter contaminants by absorption. They play an important role in eliminating components such as trihalomethanes (THMs), solvents, gasoline, pesticides, industrial cleaners, and chlorine.

Carbon filters also play a role in improving the smell and taste of water. Carbon is a pure element found naturally in a variety of allotropes. Charcoal is the carbonized product of wood pyrolyzation. Carbon is found in the form of graphite and diamond and has no intrinsic filtering properties.

Charcoal is a porous material that can burn or absorb contaminants. Activated carbon is charcoal that has been specially processed to have a very high surface area. This surface is what contaminants adsorb (not absorb) to remove them from air and water. If you said activated carbon or activated carbon, anyone would know what you are talking about, but activated carbon is more appropriate since the material is in fact carbon, NOT charcoal.

Carbon block filters are ideal for high pressures of 60 psi or more, where a lower flow rate is acceptable. Regardless of the type of filter that is needed, it is essential to note that both filters must be replaced on time. Using an activated carbon water filter can soften the water, reduce the amount of soap you use, and even improve the appearance of your hair and skin. To remove any trace of these chemicals and restore drinking water to a safe and healthy state, carbon filters are used to improve the taste and smell of the water.

Commercial Filtration Supply offers a variety of carbon block and GAC filters that are economical and high performance. Although carbon filters effectively reduce dissolved solids, heavy metals and fluorine, they cannot remove mineral salts (calcium, potassium, etc.), only the reverse osmosis membrane or water distillation can. Factors such as the lower flow rate, longer contact time, and the compact nature of carbon block filters help them achieve maximum filtration efficiency. First of all, it's important to note that charcoal has carbon but it is NOT carbon itself.

Ultimately, charcoal contains carbon but when it comes to its individual functions in a water filter, an activated carbon water filter will still be effective but an activated carbon filtration system will work better. In general, organic compounds and volatile organic compounds, THMs, pesticides, herbicides, and chlorine can be removed using both types of activated carbon filters. Typically, there will be a 1 or 5 micron sediment filter, 1 to 2 carbon blocks, and a 1 to 10 micron GAC, possibly a UV light (best for well water) and a reverse osmosis membrane that removes these contaminants from your drinking water supply. As a result, GAC proves to be less effective in terms of removing pollution compared to carbon block filters.

The elements and compounds that then bind to the carbon atoms are removed and all of the carbon's binding sites are “free” to bond with the incoming molecules and atoms. Anyone who has looked for a way to remove minerals that cause water hardness may have heard of activated carbon and activated carbon water filters. Ultimately, both types of activated carbon filters can be used for effective filtration purposes; however Carbon block filters offer higher levels of filtration efficiency than GAC due to their longer contact time with contaminants as well as their compact nature. Activated carbon water filters can soften water while also reducing soap usage as well as improving hair and skin appearance.

Commercial Filtration Supply offers economical yet high-performance GAC and Carbon Block filters for all your filtration needs. While these filters can effectively reduce dissolved solids, heavy metals and fluorine from your drinking water supply; they cannot remove mineral salts such as calcium or potassium - only reverse osmosis membrane or water distillation can do this.