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3/8/2017 ActivatedCarbonFilters|SewageTreatmentReverseOsmosisWastewaterTreatment

Activated Carbon Filters

content/uploads/2015/12/activatedcarbonimg1.jpg)Filtration Theory:

For thousands of years ltration has been used to reduce the level of dirt, rust, suspended matter and
other impurities from water. This is achieved by passing the dirty input water (inuent) through a lter
media. As the water passes through the media, the impurities are held in the lter media material.
Depending on the impurity impurities and the media, several dierent physical and chemical mechanisms
are active in removing are responsible for the removal of impurities from the water. Some of the
equipment used to employ these mechanisms has have changed dramatically over time.

The fundamental physical and chemical mechanisms that occur during ltration have become better
understood over the years. These advances have allowed water treatment specialists to optimize the removal of impurities from the water. Filtration systems
remove particulate matter and, because of the large surface area of lter media, they also can be used to drive chemical reactions that result in the removal of
several contaminants.

Adsorption Principles:

Adsorption is one of the most frequently used but least understood terms in discussions of ltration. Adsorption refers to the removal of an impurity from a liquid
to the surface of a solid. A water-born, suspended particle adheres to a solid surface when adsorption occurs. Adsorption is the adhesion of atoms, ions, or
molecules from a gas, liquid, or solid to a surface. In the case of water ltration, the suspended solid particles present in liquid will adhere to the media solid surface.

Adsorption diers from occlusion in that occluded particles are removed from a process ow because they are, where occlusion is the result of particles being too
large to pass through a physical restriction in the media. In most cases, adsorbed particles are aected by weak chemical interactions that allow them to adhere to
the surface of a solid. Adsorbed particles become attached to the surface of a given media, becoming a lm of weakly held part of the solid. The impurity molecules
are held within the carbons internal pore structure by electrostatic attraction (Van der Waals forces) also known as Chemisorption.

In most applications activated carbon removes impurities from uids, vapours or gas by adsorption., which is a surface phenomenon that results in the accumulation
of molecules within the internal pores of an activated carbon. This occurs in pores slightly larger than the molecules that are being adsorbed, which is why it is very
important to match the pore size of the activated carbon media with the molecules particles you are trying to adsorb. AES has a vast experience in selecting the right
carbon media for you application.

Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) is mostly used in xed lter beds. Some of the important aspects that need to be considered are required contact time, lter
vessels sizing, lling and emptying facilities, and safety measures. Further, a crucial consideration regarding GAC refers to possible regeneration, in situ or o site.
Normally at very large installations it is possible to do perform in situ regeneration, while in small facilities it is not viable to do regeneration. The most common
activated carbon regeneration method is thermal activation. This is performed in three major steps, starting with drying, then heating, and nally residual organic
gasication by oxidising gas (steam or Carbon dioxide). Normally replacing the Carbon bed works out cheaper as major Carbon manufacturers are in Europe.

It is a myth that Activated Carbon can be regenerated by mere backwash. Backwash only removes the trapped material & reclassies the Filter Bed. Activated Carbon
has a certain life after which it cannot remove impurities & hence needs to be removed replaced.

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Activated carbon is a carbonaceous adsorbent with a high internal porosity, and hence a large internal surface area. Commercial activated carbon grades have an
internal surface area of 500 up to 1500 m2/g. Related to the type of application, three major groups exist:
Powdered activated carbon; particle size 1-150 m
Granular activated carbon, particle size 0.5-4 mm
Extruded activated carbon, particle size 0.8-4 mm

A proper activated carbon has a number of unique characteristics: such as a large internal surface area, dedicated (surface) chemical properties and good
accessibility of internal pores. The pore size distribution is highly important for the practical application; the best t depends on the molecules to be trapped, the
phase (gas, liquid) and treatment conditions.

The desired pore structure of an activated carbon product is attained by combining the right raw material and activation conditions.

The physical and chemical characteristics of an activated carbon can strongly inuence its suitability for a given application, and there are a number of dierent tests
that help predict a carbons ability to perform. The iodine number test can usually predict eectiveness when very small molecules like Free Chlorine are to be
adsorbed. Tannin value and molasses number or molasses decolorizing eciency are more appropriate in lab test parameters for medium and large-sized
molecules or when small molecules are present with larger molecules. In applications where there are is a wide variety of impurities to be removed, the best type of
activated carbon is not so easily determined. When impurities range from very small to very large in size, the large molecules often clog up small pores, making them
inaccessible to other molecules. In this case, Norit recommends performance testing rst (isotherm and pilot column) to identify the best activated carbon for a
specic application.

As seen earlier, the Activated carbon Filter makes use of Adsorption to remove certain impurities like Free Chlorine, Odour Removal or Organics etc. Activated
carbon, also called activated charcoal, activated coal, or carbo activatus, is a form of carbon processed to be riddled with small, low-volume pores that increase the
surface area available for adsorption or chemical reactions.

Due to its high degree of micro-porosity, just one gram of activated carbon has a surface area in excess of 500 m2, as determined by adsorption isotherms of carbon
dioxide gas at room or 0.0 C temperature. An activation level sucient for useful application may be attained solely from high surface area; however, further
chemical treatment often enhances adsorption properties.

Activated carbon is usually derived from charcoal or coconut shell.

Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 1: A typical Activated Carbon Filter Vessel & its Internal Arrangement


There are many of applications for Activated Carbon Filters. Only some of them which are most important & common are listed below.
1. Free Chlorine Removal
2. Organic Matter removal
3. Odour Removal
4. Bromate Removal (After Ozonation of SWRO Permeate)
5. De-colourisation of Sugar Melt (White Sugar Manufacturing)
6. De-colourisation of Molasses
7. Air Purication
8. Catalyst Carrier
9. Flue gas purication (Dioxin & Mercury Removal)

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