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Current IssueSeptember 01, 2014
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Ask The Expert: Carbon and chlorine
04/20/2001 
 
Question: Q: Can you tell me how activated charcoal works in removing chlorine from tap water?

Claude Lassigne
British Columbia, Canada
 

Answer: A: Absorption and adsorption are the primary methods carbon removes contaminants from water. Absorption is where the contaminant is absorbed into the material. Adsorption is where it attaches to the material. Carbon may come from coal, wood, bone and coconut shell sources primarily. Coconut is generally considered the best material for filtration purposes. Depending upon the fineness of the carbon source, a carbon will be more or less effective in removing contaminants. This refers to pore size and the torturous path a substance must pass through as represented by a microscopic view of the carbon. Carbon also can be processed into solid block, granular or powder form. It also can be activated catalytically or impregnated with certain materials such as silver to offer bacteriostatic properties that are resistant to microbiological or biofilm growth.

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