What is activated carbon?

Activated carbon is the common term used for a group of absorbing substances of crystalline form, having large internal pore structures that make the carbon more absorbent. Activated carbon is manufactured according to the Ostreijkos patents of 1900 and 1902. Every year, approximately one hundred fifty thousand metric tons of pulverized activated carbon are manufactured, together with one hundred fifty thousand metric tons of granules and thirty thousand metric tons of pellets/rods. Many different materials can
be activated (wood, plastic, stone and synthetic materials) without actually turning them into carbon, and one can still get the same effect.

Activated carbon is the most popular and the cheapest material used in purification of alcohol, and steam-activated carbon is derived from natural raw materials. Much of activated carbon is regenerated (cleaning/desorption) and is used hundreds, or even
thousands, of times. Carbon is made from a variety of raw materials that are heated and further treated. During this treatment, some parts turn to gas and leave pores behind. There are
hundreds of varieties of carbon on the market, but only a few are suitable for the purification of alcohol. Some types of carbon make the alcohol worse than before filtering– the reason for this is explained further on in this document.

We often speak of the absorption surface of carbon, which can vary from 400-1600 sq. meter per gram, as a measure of the effectiveness of carbon. This is incorrect. The effectiveness of carbon depends on its ability to absorb a certain substance or

substances, depending on the chemical and physical properties that carbon possesses. Activated carbon can be manufactured for different purposes.


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