top of page
  • Writer's pictureRich Hamilton

CARBON CLEANING – filtering the facts

What is carbon filtering?

Carbon filtering is a method of refining that uses a bed of activated carbon to remove contaminants, impurities and odours.

The standard process involves pulling air through a bed/layer of activated carbon that extracts any unwanted properties by cleaning the air as it is forced through the Carbon bed.

Charcoal is a form of carbon, and activated charcoal is charcoal that has been treated with oxygen to open up millions of tiny pores between the carbon atoms. Using special manufacturing techniques this highly porous charcoal can have a surface area that runs into hundreds or even thousands of square meters.

Activated charcoal is widely used to remove odorous and coloured substances from gases.

So how does it do this?

Through a process called Adsorption. Not to be mistaken for the more commonly known process of absorption.

When a material such as activated carbon adsorbs something, it attaches to it by chemical attraction. This means that any odour is trapped and retained.

What is the difference between Adsorption and Absorption?

 “Adsorption” is the sticking of atoms or molecules to a surface.

Adsorption is different to absorption as molecules undergoing absorption are taken inside the absorbent material (water in a sponge for example) and held there. Rather than just sticking to the surface of it.

You can tell if a material is absorbent or adsorbent due to the change in volume. A sponge for example will look bigger when full of water as it has taken the water inside its mass. 

With adsorption however, such is the case with carbon activated charcoal lining, there is no visual change in the appearance of the material. Odour molecules simply attach themselves chemically to the surface of it rather than being taken inside of it.

Ok, so how does “active carbon” work and what is it used for?

The huge surface area of activated charcoal gives it countless bonding sites. When certain chemicals pass next to the carbon surface, they attach to the surface and are trapped. Activated charcoal is good at trapping organic based impurities.

Many other chemicals are not attracted to carbon at all, such as sodium and nitrates, meaning that they pass right through. This means that an activated charcoal filter will remove certain impurities while ignoring others.

Carbon filters are used in a variety of fashions to eliminate impurities, such as in the purification process of liquids including: water processing facilities, coffee machines, aquariums and in indoor growing environments. They are also used in air conditioning units and exhaust fans to rid air of unwanted odours. 

Activated carbon can be used in a variety of different applications, including cloth. If you had a bag made from a carbon impregnated cloth for example, it would essentially be smell proof.

This article was sponsored by PACKS PROTECT.

Packs Protect” Odour retaining bags are made of a hardwearing fabric, which contains an activated carbon lining. This lining provides unbeatable odour proofing by adsorbing any and all odour molecules as they are released from your stored items.

In plain simple terms, it Keep’s the smell of what’s in your bag…in your bag.

The unique design and manufacturing process of ‘Packs Protect’ bags means that your stored items are also kept protected from any external odour contamination, as well as being kept secure, thanks to the customisable combination lock included on each bag. ‘Packs Protect’ will keep your stored items private, discreet, protected, child safe and in tip-top condition until you need to access them.

To find out more about PACKS PROTECT lockable odour retaining bags, head over to their website -

The Audio Article for this blog will be available soon.

19 views0 comments


bottom of page