Learn about activated carbon and what it’s used for
As a certified company, at ChiemiVall we offer solutions with high-quality activated carbon. Activated carbon is a material with multiple applications thanks to its ability to adsorb compounds from both gases and liquids. It is used in several sectors, making it the most widely used purifying element.
We provide activated carbon solutions for all sorts of industrial processes, specialising in the chemical, pharmaceutical and food sectors, as well as gas and water treatment. The uses of activated carbon in industry range from removing toxins and impurities from water to recovering solvent vapours.
DEVOTED EXCLUSIVELY TO ACTIVATED CARBON
We’ll give you the technical support you need to choose the most suitable carbon, and in designing and optimising equipment and processes.
We have our own lab specialising in analysis of activated carbon, which allows us to conduct real-time testing and determine the best solution for each client, as well as following up on GAC saturation levels.
DELIVERY IN 24-48 HOURS
Our central warehouse is well stocked at all times and we have a fleet of special tankers for transporting AC, so we can delivery immediately anywhere in the country.
We provide ongoing guidance for our clients regarding aspects such as choosing the right carbon and project assessment. We also offer courses and technical conferences.
ChiemiVall is the best place to buy activated charcoal for contaminant removal. We supply activated carbon to a variety of sectors, including the chemical, pharmaceutical, food and industrial sectors, for which we provide solutions for water and gas treatment. We offer specific solutions to eliminate odours from drinking water, purifiers, eliminate contaminants from waste water and many others.
With more than 1,000 tonnes of permanent stock stored in our facilities, we have become the preferred place to buy activated carbon in Spain. Our activated carbon is delivered immediately in most cases for businesses that require it. Click here to get in touch and purchase your activated carbon.
Get the best service when you buy activated carbon from ChiemiVall
If you don’t know where to buy activated charcoal for water treatment, at ChiemiVall we provide the best service thanks to our expert staff who will advise you on how to determine which type and format will be best for your needs. As well as the optimum quantity and contact times to achieve the best results with activated carbon.
Our clients choose us because they know they will always receive the best value for money and attentive, diligent service.
Activated carbon in different formats
ChiemiVall has been exclusively devoted to producing, advising on and supplying activated carbon for more than 27 years, always looking for solutions that meet the specific needs of each client.
We offer a wide range of activated carbon options for water treatment and the production processes of companies in the industrial, chemical, pharmaceutical and food sectors. For this, we have specific carbon for each application, with varying characteristics depending on the material used to obtain them (coconut shell, wood or mineral), the process used for its activation (chemical or thermal) and the particle size.
Our warehouse stocks more than 1,000 tonnes of product packaged in different formats ready to be delivered to any European destination immediately. However, at ChiemiVall we know that each retention process is different. For this reason, we not only offer conventional carbon, but we also design, manufacture and supply custom activated carbon that can adapt to complex retention processes.
Our range of solutions includes a self-dispersible pelletised format, which avoids the problems associated to powdered activated carbon, which can affect people’s health and dirty nearby surfaces because of the black powder it generates, but still has the advantage of dissolving quickly in aqueous solutions.
In addition to our range of carbons, we offer the possibility of monitoring the carbon supplied to clients, carrying out periodic analyses to establish the degree of saturation of the latter and determine when it should be replaced.
GRANULAR ACTIVATED CARBON
Granular activated carbon (GAC) is highly adsorbent and versatile, making it a useful element in a wide range of applications, from eliminating impurities in water to recovering solvent vapours in the industrial sector and recovering gold in mining.
How granular activated carbon is applied in each case depends on its characteristics and those of the element to be retained or adsorbed. That is why it is important to select the correct carbon to ensure an optimal retention process.
Using granular activated carbon is less technically complex than using powdered activated carbon. This is because of its large particle size, which makes it easy to separate it from the product once the process is finished. As a rule, granular activated carbon is usually introduced into closed tanks, filters or columns and the product to be treated is passed through them for a certain period of time.
The advantage of using granular carbon, versus powdered, is that when the GAC has used up all its adsorption power it can be regenerated or reactivated to re-establish its initial characteristics. This makes it possible to substantially extend the carbon’s lifespan, generating less waste and cutting costs.
That is why at ChiemiVall we recommend that our clients use granular activated carbon whenever the application or production process allows it due to its simplicity of use and ability to reuse.
POWDERED ACTIVATED CARBON
In cases when it is not possible to use GAC, either because of the characteristics of the carbon itself or those of the purification process, powdered activated carbon (PAC) can be used. The tiny particle size of powdered activated carbon (PAC) makes it an extremely effective adsorbent with a shorter contact time as the carbon comes in contact with the molecule to be adsorbed much more quickly.
To provide solutions for clients who are greatly inconvenienced by handling powdered activated carbon, we’ve developed CARBENT: pelletised powdered activated carbon. When dry, it behaves like granular AC, minimising dust issues, but it auto-disperses on contact with an aqueous solution in just seconds.
The wide and varied range of solutions we offer at ChiemiVall makes us the best option for buying powdered activated carbon, either large bulks in tankers or small formats in large bags or sacks.
One of the main applications of AC is retaining contaminants from gasses emitted during industrial processes.
Our activated carbon pellets come in the form of compact cylinders ranging from 2 mm to 8 mm thick. This cylindrical shape allows small spaces to be created between the pellets when they are introduced into closed filters, thus facilitating the circulation of gases through the filter.
Although gases can also be treated efficiently with granular activated carbon, this causes considerable pressure drops and requires a higher energy cost than the pelletised format. Because of this, activated carbon pellets are usually the best option for this type of treatment.
With catalytic carbon, carbon with impregnating agents and conventional pelletised carbon, compound retention can also extend to a wide range of organic and inorganic compounds.
If ever in doubt about which type, size or format of activated carbon to use, the technical advisers at ChiemiVall are always on hand to guide you on the right choice in each case. In this way, we can help you optimise both your equipment and process, while ensuring our clients are fully satisfied.
The benefits of activated carbon are many and varied
Among the benefits of activated carbon are its ease and low cost of use, its versatility in retaining undesirable compounds and its ability to be reused through our reactivation or regeneration solution. This solution eliminates the compounds adsorbed by granular activated carbon at a lower cost than virgin carbon and in a more sustainable way. This offers both economic advantages and minimises the environmental impact.
At ChiemiVall we have our own laboratory and more than 27 years of experience in the manufacture and distribution of activated carbon, which means that we can guarantee the quality of our products. Our goal is always to adapt to the specific requirements of the application.
ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ACTIVATED CARBON
Read the FAQs
What is activated carbon?
Active carbon or activated carbon is a highly porous material comprising mainly pure carbon.
A common feature of any type of carbon is its ability to generate a physicochemical phenomenon called ‘adsorption’, whereby the atoms on the surface of the material attract and retain certain types of molecules trapped in liquid or gaseous compounds.
However, the adsorption capacity of activated carbon is much higher than that of other types of carbon due to the large surface area provided by its structure in the form of graphitic plates.
That is why activated carbon is so commonly used in processes in which toxic compounds, impurities or undesirable elements in liquid or gaseous substances must be eliminated.
What is activated carbon used for?
Activated carbon is commonly used in purification processes, in order to eliminate one or several compounds from liquids or gasses.
Examples of applications include:
- Water purification:Most Drinking Water Treatment Stations use activated carbon to reduce the amount of undesirable organic compounds in the water or to improve its organoleptic properties.
- Compounds that are not acceptable in raw materials or highly pure products, for example the ascorbic acid used to manufacture vitamin C, bleaching sugar, glucose, wine or juice, eliminating chlorine, chloramine or ozone from water, etc.
- Controlling atmospheric emissions from industrial processes: Many industrial processes generate polluting gasses that must be properly treated before going back into the atmosphere. There are several ways to treat these gasses, and one of them is filtration through a bed of granular activated carbon.
Can activated carbon be reactivated?
Activated carbon for water purification can be used in powder form (PAC), dosed in water as a reagent, or in granular form (GAC), as a filter through which the water passes.
The advantage of using granular carbon, versus powdered, is that when the GAC has used up all its adsorption power it can be regenerated or reactivated to re-establish its initial characteristics. so it can be reused, generating less waste and cutting costs.
The main mechanism through which contaminants are retained on the surface of GAC is physical adsorption and, as such, it is reversible. The graphite structure of AC means this solid can withstand very high temperatures, as well as brusque temperature changes. Based on these properties, there are methods known as reactivation or regeneration that can be used to eliminate the compounds that have been adsorbed by the GAC and re-establish its initial properties so it can be reused. This process normally costs 60% to 70% of the price of virgin carbon.
What does granular activated carbon (GAC) reactivation involve?
The reactivation process involves the following steps:
- In the first stage, the carbon is heated until it reaches the boiling point of water. The volatile molecules adsorbed by the carbon are detached and the water evaporates.
- The carbon continues to heat up to a temperature of between 300 and 450 °C. During this period, other organic molecules that are less volatile than water are desorbed.
- The organic compounds that have not been desorbed begin to decompose. This decomposition is called pyrolysis, and as a result, amorphous carbon is formed that remains deposited on the graphitic surface of the GAC.
- When the temperature reaches over 500 °C, the amorphous carbon generated from the previous step begins to react with the water vapour, oxygen, monoxide and carbon dioxide in the gas stream. As a result, other water vapour and carbon dioxide and monoxide molecules are formed, which are released into the gaseous stream. The graphitic plates that make up the structure of the GAC are less reactive than the amorphous carbon atoms, so they do not react or do not react significantly. Finally, and as a result, the initial pore structure is recovered and therefore its functionality as an adsorbent is also recovered.
What is activated carbon composed of?
Several raw materials can be used to create activated carbon, such as woods of different hardnesses, mineral coals, shells or vegetable bones, etc.
What does the activation process involve?
The activation process consists of rearranging the carbon atoms in the form of graphitic plates. These plates usually have a flattened shape and form spaces between one another when grouped together known as ‘pores’.
These spaces or pores increase the carbon’s surface area and drastically increase its adsorbent capacity.
There are several types of activated carbon activation (thermal and chemical), which, along with the raw material used to manufacture the carbon, influence the distribution of the size of the pores or spaces between the graphitic plates of the material.
In other words, the type of activation and the raw materials used determine the size of the pores and, consequently, the type of molecules that can be adsorbed. Because of this, different types of activated carbon are used depending on the compound to be eliminated.
Why is activated charcoal used to treat water?
Activated carbon has long been used as an adsorbent in water purification. It was originally used to adsorb tastes and odours or eliminate free chlorine left over from the disinfection stage, which gives the water an unpleasant taste and can affect other processes.
AC is no longer used only for the above purposes, but to retain the organic and synthetic pollutants that are present in most drinking water sources.
Activated carbon is recognised as the best technology available for treating water and as such, it is one of the basic purification processes at Drinking Water Treatment Stations.
Is activated carbon effective?
Activated carbon is one of the most widely used compounds in adsorption or separation processes. Its effectiveness depends largely on the characteristics of the compound to be retained or adsorbed and its affinity with the characteristics of the carbon itself. That is why it is so important to select the right carbon for each application.
Activated carbon is highly effective at retaining organic compounds, while its efficacy against inorganic compounds depends on each case.
Are charcoal and activated carbon the same thing?
Any organic substance can be turned into carbon. The term charcoal encompasses wood, shells and other plant compounds that have been carbonised. For charcoal to be considered activated carbon, its atoms have to be restructured to give it that highly porous structure.
Is using activated carbon safe?
Activated carbon is a completely harmless material that can even be used to treat poisoning thanks to its ability to adsorb toxins that enter the body.