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The key to clean gas & air

Activated carbon is a microporous form of carbon. It is manufactured from different kinds
of raw materials such as peat, wood, lignite, coal, coconut shells, olive stones and others.
These materials are activated with steam, or via a chemical process. The activation process
develops a myriad of pores of molecular dimensions within the carbon which together
constitute an enormous internal surface area. This surface area can exceed 1500 m2 per gram
of activated carbon. For comparison: one teaspoon filled with activated carbon has a surface
area as large as a football field.

Impurities are adsorbed in the porous structure
of the activated carbon, either by physical
adsorption or chemisorption. In physical
adsorption the impurities are held on the
surface by Van der Waals forces, where as in
chemisorption the forces are relatively stronger
and occur at active sites on the surface. The
efficiency of the activated carbon will therefore
depend on its accessible surface area and
also upon the presence of active sites on the
surface of the activated carbon. High adsorption
capacities can be achieved by condensation
within the pores.



is everywhere
Activated carbon is used in multiple
applications for gas/air purification. Many
of them have to do with the prevention of
emissions which are potentially harmful
to the environment and/or human health.
This involves, for example, combating
odor emissions at wastewater plants
and pumping stations, retaining dioxin
emissions at waste incinerators and
restricting the discharge of hydrocarbons
in soil cleaning. These applications must
meet local regulations for permissible
emission levels.

Cabot wants to help you to achieve

a cleaner environment and maintain
healthy living conditions. However, an
application such as solvent recovery
also has economic reasons for using
our products. The value of the recovered
solvents justifies an investment in a
recovery installation when it earns a
quick return on the investment.

Activated carbon is present in different

kinds of production processes involving
all kinds of gases, for example, in the
production of hydrogen, LNG and
carbon dioxide production. For all
these applications a dedicated proven
activated carbon solution is available.

Powdered, extruded or
granular activated carbon
Cabot products are available in different
forms and sizes, ranging from very
fine powders, to granular and extruded
Fine Powdered Activated Carbons (PAC)
are used for flue gas. PAC is dosed
directly into flue gas. Dioxins and heavy
metals can be removed with high
efficiency. For more details see the Cabot
Flue Gas brochure.
For fixed-bed operations, Granular
Activated Carbons (GAC) or extruded
carbons are used. Cabot offers a range of
such carbons with variations in particle
size and degree of activation. Our
extrudates are the most durable carbons
available on the market. A high abrasion

resistance and extreme hardness are

very important, because the breakdown
of carbon particles will result in an
increase in pressure drop over the
activated carbon filters. The breakdown
can also cause damage and blocking
in downstream equipment. To enhance
adsorption of impurities with low physical
adsorption, impregnated carbons are also
present in our range of activated carbons
for the removal of specific impurities
such as mercury and hydrogen
sulphide, by chemisorption.
Norithene is a plate of bonded extruded
activated carbons. This technology
allows removing low concentrations
of impurities from large air flows, for

example in air conditioning systems

and related applications. Norithene can
be supplied in different sizes with and
without a polyurethane rim, as well as
different grades of activated carbon.
Besides being very reliable, Norithene
has many advantages. Because of its
plate form, Norithene can be installed
very quickly. An airtight fitting to the
sides of the unit is possible as a result of
the rim. In addition Norithene has a low
pressure drop and doesnt create any
dust emissions.


Fruit storage
For prolonging the freshness of fruits and
other agricultural products, storage in
warehouses is applied under controlled
conditions. The temperature in the
warehouse is lowered and the oxygen
and carbon dioxide contents are kept
within certain limits. Each type of fruit
has its optimum storage conditions. The
stored fruits ripen slowly, during which
carbon dioxide is generated and oxygen
is used. This carbon dioxide negatively
influences the shelf life of the products
and is therefore removed by a scrubber
system filled with a special activated

Air purification
Most manufacturing plants, particularly
in the chemical, petrochemical, food
processing and printing industries are
required to restrict airborne emissions of
harmful or odorous compounds. Activated
carbon air-treatment systems are among
the most effective technologies available
to deal with these problems. Both organic
and inorganic impurities can be removed
with Cabot activated carbon. Similarly,
activated carbon is used to purify intake
air to buildings where the use or content
imposes special demands on air purity
such as museums and art galleries,
hospitals, or computer rooms.

Gas purification
Contaminants frequently have to be
removed from industrial process gases
to protect catalysts and downstream
equipment, or to yield a pure intermediate
or final gas. Activated carbon is a
particularly effective medium for gas
purification where contaminants are
present at ppm levels.

Examples of these gas purification applications:

Process Gas




H2S Silicates


Synthesis gas



Natural gas


LNG (liquefied natural gas)

Natural gas


Fuel cells



Chloro-alkali industry



Chemical industry

Carbon dioxide

Hydrogen sulphide


Carbon dioxide

Organics (sulphur)

Soft drinks

Compressed air

Oil, VOCs

Biogas purification
Today, biogas is used to feed gas
turbines. Contaminants such as
hydrogen sulfide and silicates can
damage engines but can be easily
removed by activated carbon. As a result
the gas engine is protected against
corrosion and prevents the engine from
getting stuck, which will lengthen the life
of the gas turbine engine.
Cigarette filters
Even the smoke of cigarettes is
purified with activated carbon. The
characteristics of the carbon are
extremely important for this application
because the activated carbon has
a direct influence on the taste of a
cigarette. The special particle size
distribution ensures high kinetics,
whereas the fines content is as low as
possible, preventing leakage of fines, and

enabling easy processing. The adsorption

characteristics enable the removal of
various, mainly low molecular weight
compounds from air streams.
Solvent recovery
Various industries use organic solvents
in processes that involve eventual
evaporation into the air. These solvent
vapors can be recovered economically by
means of an activated carbon solvent
recovery plant. The solvent laden air is
passed through an adsorber filled with
Sorbonorit activated carbon grades.
These carbons adsorb the vapor until it
is saturated and breakthrough occurs.
The vapor stream is then switched to a
second adsorber while the solvent is
recovered in the first one by desorption
with pressure steam. This cycle is
repeated continuously.

Sorbonorit solvent recovery systems

run for several years on one charge of
carbon. Recovery costs, depending on
the compounds involved, are in most
cases less than the price of the solvent,
so that the investment costs for the
installation can be earned back in one
to three years. Cabot provides a proper
carbon type for each process and can
recommend the most suitable operating


Pressure Swing Adsorption

For hydrogen purification there are
dedicated regeneration systems that
operate on the principle of pressure
differences. These systems are called
pressure swing adsorption units (PSA
units). Those are found in many industries
all over the world where technically
clean hydrogen is needed. For these
applications optimized activated carbon
grades are available.
Hydrocarbon vapor recovery
Vapor recovery units (VRU) have been
developed to meet environmental
requirements for vapor control at bulk
terminals. These units utilize the principle
of adsorption. The adsorption medium,
activated carbon, is regenerated in-situ
by vacuum and purged air. The recovered
fuel is led back to the storage tank. After
regeneration the adsorber is ready to
receive new vapors from truck filling or

storage tank breathing. The purified air

stream is vented to the atmosphere. Norit
has developed a specific carbon with a
high adsorption capacity combined with
a good desorption capability, resulting in
a high working capacity.
Personal protection
Industrial workers and others exposed to
toxic or harmful gases can be protected
by means of air filters containing special
grades of activated carbon. These
special activated carbons for industrial
respirators meet the international
standards. Cabot also supplies activated
carbons for military respirators and
shelter filters in conformance with the
TL and other army standards. Most of
the activated carbons are impregnated
to provide both physical and chemical

Aeropure-Norit filters have been
developed as multi-purpose adsorbers
for the purification of various process
exhaust gases and vent air streams.
To prevent carbon handling on site the
activated carbon is pre-installed in our
factory so that the adsorber is delivered
by truck ready for installation. The
adsorbers are suitable for easy unloading
and handling with a forklift. After the
activated carbon filling is saturated the
Aeropure-Norit filter can be disconnected
from the process and transported,
complete with the saturated carbon,
to a disposal facility. To continue the
purification job a new Aeropure-Norit
filter has to be placed on line.

Cabot rental systems

In numerous gas phase applications,
granular activated carbon (GAC) is
applied for purification of off gas and
vent systems. After a service life that
ranges from several weeks to over a year,
depending on the application, the
activated carbon becomes exhausted
and is replaced or reactivated. Cabot
provides an extensive program of virgin
activated carbon grades and reactivation
service combining a filter vessel and a
transport container in one unit:
the mobile filter Norit AERO#2000.
Designed and developed on the basis of
an extensive review of customers needs.

Safe, Pure and

Fresh Air with activated
carbon technology

From the customers point of view, the

Norit AERO#2000 guarantees a superior
solution to get optimal flexibility and on
site service. The mobile filters can easily
be transported by regular trucks. Norit
AERO#2000 mobile filters are available
for rental periods, which vary from weeks
to years.
Key applications of the Norit AERO#2000
mobile filter technologies include the
treatment of tank venting/breathing, soil
air stripping, spray booth vents, process
exhaust gases, industrial vent air streams,
and vents from solvent handling stations.
Norit AERO#2000 filters are used in
continuous treatment processes or on
stand-by basis for emergency situations.


Regeneration of granular
and extruded carbons
Cabot can reactivate selected exhausted GACs which have become hazardous waste. Exhausted
carbon is sometimes classified as hazardous goods because of the type of components adsorbed.
Reactivation by the our Recycling Service is done at different plants in Europe, under governmental
licenses. Spent activated carbon can be collected in dedicated filters and tanks.
Technical Support
Technical support is always close at
hand. Our team of experts provides
ongoing support in advising you on your
specific application and treatment goals.
Each team member is a committed
expert who wants to keep your process
running at optimum specifications and
output levels.
We provide our customers with a
worldwide network of sales and service

support. In fact, we manufacture activated

carbon all around the world in Europe,
North America and Latin America.
This means that we take our commitment
to our customers very seriously. We are
proud to work in partnership with you to
provide our extensive technical expertise
and the most choices in activated carbon.
In turn, you can be assured of getting the
best fit for your application, at an optimal

Some of our services:

Test evaluations
Pilot dosing units
Technical bulletins
Sample analyses
Basic design calculations

Cabot purification for life

Founded in 1918, Cabot Norit Activated
Carbon is the worlds largest and most
experienced producer of activated
carbon which is used to remove
pollutants, contaminants and other
impurities from water, air, food and
beverages, pharmaceutical products
and other liquids and gases in an
efficient and cost-effective manner.
Cabots history of innovation in
purification allows us to develop the
right product solution to meet each

customers needs. We have created

more than 150 different grades of
activated carbon produced from a
variety of raw materials so that our
customers get precise solutions that fit
their applications and work better than
an off the shelf product. In addition to
our unparalleled product portfolio, Cabot
offers a full range of activated carbon
services including rental systems,
carbon reactivation, bulk delivery and
change-out, carbon evaluation, as well
as technical service and support to
help our customers cost effectively

meet their specific purification needs.

Cabot has facilities in seven countries,
and a network of sales and service
centers, business partners, and
distributors serving customers in more
than 100 countries around the world.

Gas & Air B/E 5-2013

Cabot Norit Nederland BV

P.O. Box 105
3800 AC Amersfoort
The Netherlands
T +31 33 46 48 911
F +31 33 46 17 429

Cabot Corporation
reserves the right to make
changes in the technical
specifications at any time.

This information is provided as a convenience and is for informational purposes only. This information may contain
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY INFRINGEMENT. In no event is Cabot responsible for, and Cabot does not accept and hereby disclaims
liability for, any damages in connection with the use of or reliance on this information or any product to which it relates.
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