An effective water treatment method uses an activated carbon water filter for removing organic contaminants from water, including chlorine, arsenic, and benzene.
Activated carbon is simply charcoal that has been processed with oxygen to create millions of microscopic pores, which vastly increases the surface area available for trapping contaminants.
The activated carbon filters contaminants using a process known as “adsorbption”, as opposed to “absorption”. Adsorption traps them using chemical attraction. The vast surface area provides many sites where they are bonded and effectively trapped.
There are two main types of activated carbon water filters: powdered activated carbon (PAC) and granular activated carbon (GAC). Each uses the same process of adsorption to trap and filter contaminants.
Powdered activated carbon
Powdered activated carbon or PAC consists of tiny, ground or crushed carbon particles designed to pass through a mesh sieve. PAC is often used in gravity filters and raw water intakes.
Granular activated carbon (GAC)
Granular activated carbon has a larger particle size than PAC, so it has a smaller exposed surface area. GAC is used for deodorization and water treatment.
In the home, an activated carbon water filter is commonly used in countertop water filtration systems. They are used to purify water for drinking, cleaning, and cooking. They have a lifespan which varies depending upon the specific type and brand. Afterwards, the filter must be replaced for the unit to continue working effectively. If the filters are not replaced in a timely manner, microorganisms may begin growing inside the filter, using the organic materials trapped there as a food source. This is not normally a problem.
In addition to counter tops, these filters can be used in other locations. Some homeowners prefer to have their filters out of view. Under sink water filtration systems are usually used in this instance.