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The Role Of Carbon In Water Filtering

Water is essential for life, and clean water is even more important. To achieve clean and safe water for use, we utilize several types of filters. These filters eliminate obnoxious odor from the water and get rid of harmful chemicals as well. While there are several filters you can purchase, many of these have one thing in common. Carbon or activated carbon is widely utilized for water treatment and purification. Therefore, let’s discuss the role of carbon in water treatment.

Activated Carbon:

Carbon itself is not quite useful; we need to activate it to harness its extraordinary powers. Through heat or chemical treatment, carbon is activated, increasing the surface area of carbon substantially. Due to more area, carbon absorbs molecules in water effectively. This type of carbon is known as activated carbon.

Activated carbon can be derived from any organic source with high carbon content. The top contenders for this are coconut shells or coal, and heating them without oxygen can yield activated carbon. Once we have our desired product, carbon can be further processed into PAC or GAC. PAC (powdered activated carbon) and GAC ( granular activated carbon) differ from each other in terms of their particular size. However, both of them are used in water filtering, which we shall describe in detail later.

Activated carbon can absorb various chemicals and gases, such as hydrogen sulfide and chlorine. However, it may not be able to deal with nitrate and iron. Therefore, we require some other physical or chemical process for their removal.


Powdered activated carbon has a very minute particle size, and it’s used to filter large streams of water. Therefore, they are used in water treatment plants. PAC is installed in the form of carbon beds, and water is passed through them, allowing an ample sole contact time. The sole contact time is important to remove any organic impurity in the water. Hence, by allowing about 15 minutes of contact time, the bed filter can remove many contaminants from the water. These beds are often located at the start of the process before any chemical is added to the water. This is because carbon absorbs chemicals like chlorine. However, for this particular reason, carbon beds are placed at the end, eliminating chlorine from the water that needs to be distributed.


A granular version of carbon is primarily used in homes, and they are fitted in cylinders that you can purchase. There are two installation points for these filters. The first one is at the entry point of water in the house. After being filtered from GAC, the water goes into different faucets of the house. For entry point use, we often utilize two filters. There is also an opening from where you can test the quality of the filter. Hence, it will help to determine when the filter needs replacement.


From our discussion, the different scope of water filtering requires different filter arrangements. Hence, contact Clean Liquid to understand which filter is best for your needs. You can call us at 713-253-0100 to learn more about how we can help.