Activated Carbon

Activated Carbon

Activated carbon is a material mostly derived from charcoal. The structure of activated carbon has a very large surface area -1 lb of granular activated carbon has the surface area of 125 acres. The activated carbon surface is non-polar which results in an affinity for non-polar adsorbates such as organics. Activated carbon is very effective in air and water purification applications, as well as precious metal recovery or removal.


Coconut | Coal | Lignite | Wood | Impregnated | Specialty | Mesh to Micron

Adsorption Parameters of Activated Carbon

Pore Size

Correct pore size distribution is necessary to facilitate the adsorption process by providing adsorption sites and the appropriate channels to transport the adsorbate. Activated Carbon Pores can be divided into three general sizes:

Iodine Number

The Iodine number is the most fundamental parameter used to characterize activated carbon performance, measure activity level (higher number indicates higher degree of activation) and measure the micropore (0-20 Å) content. This number is equivalent to the surface area of activated carbon in sq m/g between 900 - 1100. The iodine number is also the standard measure for liquid phase applications

Hardness / Abrasion Number

Measure of activated carbon's resistance to attrition. This is an important indicator of activated carbon to maintain its physical integrity and withstand frictional forces imposed by backwashing etc.

Ash Content

Reduces overall activity of activated carbon. Reduces efficiency of reactivation. Metals can leach out of activated carbon resulting in discoloration. Acid/water soluble ash content is more significant than total ash content.

Apparent Density

Higher density provides greater volume activity and normally indicates better quality activated carbon.

Activated Carbon Properties at a Glance
Property Coconut Coal Lignite Wood (Powder)
Micro-pores (diameter range less than 2nm) High High Medium Low
Macro-pores (diameter range above 25 nm) Low Medium High High
Hardness High High Low n/a
Ash 5% 10% 20% 5%
Water Soluble Ash High Low High Medium
Dust Reactivation Good Good Poor None
Apparent Density 0.48 g/cc 0.48 g/cc 0.4 g/cc 0.35 g/cc
Iodine No. 1100 1000 600 1000
Liquid Phase Activated Carbon
Model Activated Carbon Type Common Usage Scenarios
LGAC8x16
Virgin Coal Base GAC 8x16 Mesh
Liquid phase applications requiring quick adsorption times
LGAC8x30
Virgin Coal Base GAC 8x30 Mesh
Liquid phase applications requiring quick adsorption times
LGAC8x16AW
Acid Washed Coal Base GAC 8x16 Mesh
Liquid phase applications requiring quick adsorption times
LGAC8x30AW
Acid Washed Coal Base GAC 8x30 Mesh
Liquid phase applications requiring quick adsorption times
LGAC12x30
Virgin Coal Base GAC 12x30 Mesh
Wastewater treatment, groundwater remediation, chemical purification, food grade applications, pharmaceutical, and potable water treatment
LGAC12x40
Virgin Coal Base GAC 12x40 Mesh
Wastewater treatment, groundwater remediation, chemical purification, food grade applications, pharmaceutical, and potable water treatment
LGAC12x30AW
Acid Washed Coal Base GAC 12x30 Mesh
Applications where superior kinetic properties are required including removal of low concentrations of normally poorly adsorbed organics from groundwater and wastewaters
LGAC12x40AW
Acid Washed Coal Base GAC 12x40 Mesh
Applications where superior kinetic properties are required including removal of low concentrations of normally poorly adsorbed organics from groundwater and wastewaters
LCGAC8x16
Virgin Coconut Shell GAC 8x16 Mesh
Applications where superior kinetic properties are required including removal of low concentrations of normally poorly adsorbed organics from groundwater and wastewaters
LCGAC8x30
Virgin Coconut Shell GAC 8x30 Mesh
Applications where superior kinetic properties are required including removal of low concentrations of normally poorly adsorbed organics from groundwater and wastewaters
LCGAC8x16AW
Acid Washed Coconut Shell GAC 8x16 Mesh
Ideal for many liquid phase applications including the removal of organics from water streams, cleaner then most other carbons
LCGAC8x30AW
Acid Washed Coconut Shell GAC 8x30 Mesh
Ideal for many liquid phase applications including the removal of organics from water streams, cleaner then most other carbons
LCGAC12x30
Virgin Coconut Shell GAC 12x30 Mesh
Wastewater treatment, groundwater remediation, chemical purification, food grade applications, pharmaceutical, and potable water treatment
LCGAC12x40
Virgin Coconut Shell GAC 12x40 Mesh
Wastewater treatment, groundwater remediation, chemical purification, food grade applications, pharmaceutical, and potable water treatment
LCGAC12x30AW
Acid Washed Coconut Shell GAC 12x30 Mesh
Ideal for many liquid phase applications including the removal of organics from water streams, cleaner then most other carbons
LCGAC12x40AW
Acid Washed Coconut Shell GAC 12x40 Mesh
Ideal for many liquid phase applications including the removal of organics from water streams, cleaner then most other carbons
Vapor Phase Activated Carbon
Model Activated Carbon Type Common Usage Scenarios
VGAC4x8
Virgin Coal Base GAC 4 x 8 Mesh
Solvent recovery, odor control, tank vent absorbers, HVAC, VOC control, Soil Vapor Extraction, Air Stripper 
VGAC4x8AW
Acid Washed Granular Coal Base Activated Carbon 4x8 Mesh
Solvent recovery, odor control, tank vent absorbers, HVAC, VOC control, Soil Vapor Extraction, Air Stripper 
VGAC6x12
Virgin Coal Base GAC 6 x 12 Mesh
High activity and surface area make it ideal for most vapor phase applications including general odor removal and the adsorption of organic contaminants from vapor streams
VPAC3
Virgin Coal Base PAC 3.0mm Mesh
Perfect for solvent recovery or other vapor phase projects wherein pressure drop may be a concern 
VPAC4
Virgin Coal Base PAC 4.0mm Mesh
Perfect for solvent recovery or other vapor phase projects wherein pressure drop may be a concern 
VKOH
Potassium Hydroxide Impregnated 4mm Pelletized Coal Base Activated Carbon
Specially impregnated for the desulphurization of gases and the removal of all acidic contaminants such as hydrogen sulfide, hydrogen chloride, and mercaptans
V-Sulphur
Sulfur Impregnated 4mm Pelletized Coal Base Activated Carbon
Designed to remove mercury vapor steams
VCGAC
Virgin Coconut Shell GAC 4 x 8 Mesh
Ideal for HVAC and Odor Control applications
VCGAC4x8AW
4x8 Acid Washed Coconut Shell Activated Carbon
Ideal for HVAC and Odor Control applications