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Carbon Filters - A Guide

Basic carbon: granular carbon

This is the cheapest carbon. Yes, it still filters, but it’s just carbon in a granular form and so has some limitations, which will be evident when you see the improved forms of carbon available today.

First let’s look at granular ACTIVATED carbon.

Granular activated carbon (GAC) is a hybrid mixture of a wide variety of graphite platelets that are interconnected by nongraphitic carbon bonding. The adsorptive capacity of GAC makes it a superior choice to remove a variety of contaminants from water, air, liquids and gases.

It’s also an environmentally responsible product. It can be reactivated through thermal oxidation and used multiple times for the same application.

It’s considered by many authorities like The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the best available technology for the removal of many organic materials in surface water. On its own or with an ultraviolet (UV) disinfection system, GAC can facilitate the removal of:

Disinfection byproducts (DBPs) associated with chlorine and alternative disinfectants
Algal toxins, such as microcystin-LR, cylindrospermopsin and anatoxin-A
Endocrine-disrupting compounds
Pharmaceuticals and personal care products
Taste and odor-causing compounds
Organic materials from decaying plants and other naturally occurring matter which serve as the precursors for DBPs

The activated carbon production process creates a structure with a broad range of pore sizes. These pores, or voids, along with the graphite platelets, create a material with the strongest physical adsorption forces available in an adsorbent, coupled with the largest volume to store the adsorbed materials.

OK… What is Adsorption?

Adsorption is what happens from the interaction of the electronic structure of an adsorbent, such as activated carbon, with an adsorbate, such as a taste- and odor-causing compound like geosmin. Molecular compounds are kinetically attracted to the porous surface area of the carbon.

OK… What sort of carbon is in the UltraStream?

UltraStream’s carbon is called catalytic carbon. It’s the leading form of available carbon on the market. We use it because of chlorine’s nasty cousin, chloramine, which is far harder to remove for ordinary activated carbon.

The challenge of chloramine and other difficult contaminants has led to the production of a modified carbon called catalytic carbon. Catalytic carbon is a specially processed filter medium designed to greatly enhance carbon’s natural ability to promote chemical changes in contaminants.

Of course, it costs more, but it’s fully tested, and that includes California’s strict environmental laws.

Ian Blair Hamilton AlkaWay Global