Carbon filters for water - what do they do?

Activated carbon filters and filter elements can be effective against many substances. What exactly they filter out and what not, and what you always have to pay attention to in the operation of activated carbon filters is explained in detail here.

Construction of activated carbon filters

Activated carbon filter elements usually consist of a bed of carbon particles. A carbon filter can also be constructed in multiple layers.

In granules, the introduction of oxygen into the coal during production produces millions of small and minute pores that form binding sites for pollutants.

In most cases, activated carbon filters are combined with ceramic filter elements of different pore sizes.

Mode of action of activated carbon filters

The ceramic filter element serves as a particle filter. Depending on the size of the filter pores so that a large number of particles can be filtered out due to their size.

With pore sizes of 2 μm, even bacteria and germs can be filtered out even through the ceramic element alone.

For a filtering of viruses that are much smaller than bacteria, the mechanical filtering effect is not sufficient. However, since viruses attach themselves mainly to larger particles in the water, their number is at least reduced.

On the other hand, most of the uncharged particles are deposited on the pores of the activated carbon. These are above all:

  • Suspended and turbid substances that negatively influence the taste of water
  • Chemical substances, such as pesticide residues and remnants of medicines
  • Complex molecules that are not electrically charged

By contrast, ions, salts and lime are not removed by activated carbon filters. All electrically charged particles remain in the water.

This activated charcoal filter also produces no demineralized water. The natural mineral content of the water remains in the filter.

Service life of activated carbon filters

Activated carbon filter elements must be replaced regularly to maintain their effectiveness. If the pores in the activated carbon are full, the filter is ineffective, since no further substances can accumulate.

In addition, there is a risk of contamination with prolonged use of the filter, if the bacteria contained therein multiply.

Tips & Tricks

Activated carbon filters are also popular as travel and outdoor water filters because they are highly effective. You can even kill viruses on the go with UV disinfection.

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