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Carbon Filters: What are they and how do they work?

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Getting pure, safe water to drink can be challenging especially in areas that do not have freshwater sources such as rivers and lakes. That being the case, therefore, companies that bottle water have to find alternative sources for their water, sources which do not always have the cleanest water.

After sourcing this water, it has to be purified and one of the best methods of doing this is using carbon filters.

What is carbon filtering?

Carbon filtering is a purification method that involves purification using activated carbon. Activated carbon affords a large surface area for the absorption of impurities and contaminants through a process known as adsorption.

Activated carbon works via adsorption as mentioned. This process traps molecules of impurities and pollutants inside the pore structure of the activated carbon in use in a particular carbon filter.

Active charcoal carbon filters are most commonly used to remove sediment, chlorine, volatile organic compounds, taste and odour from the water. It is important to note that carbon filtering is not very efficient at removing salts, minerals and dissolved inorganic compounds from water.

Some benefits of carbon filtering

  • Carbon filtering is a relatively cheap way to purify water.
  • It also produces water that is safe to drink in a relatively short time.
  • Carbon filtering can enhance the taste and odour of tap water.
  • This process is excellent at filtering out carbon-based, organic chemicals and chemical disinfectants such as chlorine. In some cases, it can also eliminate some microorganisms.

Carbon filtering at home

While carbon filtering is often perceived as a process undertaken at huge industries, one can also do it at home. There are home filtering kits on the market that let you do your own water filtering. The important thing to keep an eye out for is the capabilities of the carbon filters in use inside the machine.

Remember that these filters come with different chemicals in addition to the activated carbon, meaning that they eliminate different arrays of impurities and pollutants. Other factors to look at include the reputation of the machine that you want to buy, its cost as well as how many litres of water it can filter before the activated carbon has to be replenished.