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How does filtering activated carbon work?

How does filtering activated carbon work?

How does filtering activated carbon work?

You may have already wondered what a stick of charcoal does in a flask, jug or water fountain.
What is its use?
Is it a good healthy, ecological and zero waste alternative to filter water and permanently abandon plastic water bottles?

What is activated carbon or binchotan carbon?

Activated carbon, also called activated carbon, is a material consisting mainly of carbonaceous material with a porous structure. It has the particularity of having properties of fixing and retaining certain molecules thanks to its strong absorbent power.
We find evidence of the use of activated carbon in Antiquity with medicinal uses by Hippocrates or by the Egyptians to purify water. However, it is the Japanese who have used binchotan for several centuries.

How is it made?

Activated carbon or binchotan charcoal can be produced from any organic plant material rich in carbon: bark, ash, oak or poplar wood, coconut shells, olive pits or wood pulp in particular.
Its manufacturing is broken down into two stages:

  • Carbonization: at high temperature a first porosity is created
  • Activation: consists of increasing the absorbent power by freeing the pores

The wood is placed in a kiln and charred at a relatively low temperature for a period of time and then towards the end the temperature rises to over 1000 degrees Celsius. The coal is then removed and quickly covered with a special powder made from earth, sand and ash which gives it a whitish appearance (also called white coal).

How does activated carbon work?

Binchotan charcoal filters water but also softens it and eliminates impurities such as chlorine, micropollutants and pesticides. It also releases minerals like potassium.
The charcoal stick finally helps eliminate bad tastes and certain unwanted odors that can be found in tap water.

How to use activated carbon?

Insert your activated charcoal stick into your container, whether it is a bottle, a jug or a water fountain, fill with tap (drinking) water and wait for the charcoal to filter the impurities from the water. Leaving it overnight is ideal, but you will feel the difference after just an hour.

It is necessary to boil your activated charcoal in water for 10 minutes before use if you purchased it in bulk, without vacuum packaging.

If the coal floats, this is completely normal at first. It will eventually sink, it depends on the density of each charcoal stick.

A stick of charcoal can filter 1 liter of water for a total of 6 months if you reactivate it after 3 months, that is to say by boiling it for 10 minutes in water.

What to do with your activated charcoal stick after 6 months?

It is important to change activated carbon after 6 months of use, it begins to run out and lose its effectiveness.
You can then use it in different ways to recycle it:

  • Break it up and put it in your houseplants to add nutrients
  • Use to deodorize and eliminate bad odors from your cat's litter box, your laundry basket, your diaper bin or your shoes.
  • To put in your wardrobe to help absorb humidity from the air.
  • To be placed in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator, it will help extend the life of fresh produce by absorbing ethylene and will be a good anti-odor.

At Hersée, we chose the activated carbon stick filter from Black & Blum, a pioneer in the democratization of binchotan charcoal in Europe by respecting traditional Japanese manufacturing methods.

It's time to stop using plastic water bottles and switch to a bottle or carafe, with activated carbon you have the solution!

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