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#1
Old 06-18-2003, 12:09 AM
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Difference between activated charcoal and regular charcoal?

I understand that charcoal is used as fuel, whereas activated charcoal is used for filtering or adsorbing certain impurities or toxins.

What I haven't been able to find is a definition and/or description of activated charcoal, how it is made, and how it differs from everyday throw-it-on-the-grill charcoal.

I'm also curious about exactly what is meant by "activated."

Anyone know, or got a link? Thanks.
#2
Old 06-18-2003, 12:34 AM
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Made porous by exposure to steam.
#3
Old 06-18-2003, 12:34 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
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http://ilpi.com/msds/ref/activatedcharcoal.html

Quote:
Charcoal becomes activated by heating it with steam to approximately 1000 oC in the absence of oxygen (O2). This treatment removes residual non-carbon elements and produces a porous internal microstructure having an extremely high surface area. A single gram of such material can have 400 to 1,200 square meters of surface area
#4
Old 06-18-2003, 12:49 AM
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Quote:
A single gram of such material can have 400 to 1,200 square meters of surface area.
Wow! This is a staggering fact if it is true.
#5
Old 06-18-2003, 04:08 AM
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It is the high surface area that not only makes it a great adsorbent but also presents a risk of spontaneous heating and combustion.

Another way of putting the earlier posts is that it is clean carbon.

Also handy to have by for poisonings. I recall a story about some French fellah in the 1800's eating some rat poison then following it with activated charcoal and living. Dont try this at home kiddies.
#6
Old 06-18-2003, 08:41 AM
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Thanks to all. That answers my questions.
#7
Old 06-18-2003, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by antechinus
Also handy to have by for poisonings. I recall a story about some French fellah in the 1800's eating some rat poison then following it with activated charcoal and living. Dont try this at home kiddies.

This same trick was used by the protagonist in Tim Powers' The Anubis Gates.


RR
#8
Old 06-18-2003, 09:35 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Connecticut, USA
Posts: 5,106
Quote:
Originally posted by stuyguy
Wow! This is a staggering fact if it is true.
It's true. I used activated carbon extensively for my master's thesis in environmental engineering.

Here's another cite:

http://cee.vt.edu/program_areas/...teristics.html

Quote:
Activated carbon is often characterized by its extremely large surface area. In fact, the surface area per gram of material can range from 500 to 1400 square meters, and values as high as 2500 m2/g have been reported.
(Of course, this quote would probably read better if they said that the surface area per gram of material typically ranges from 500 to 1400 square meters, and that values as high as 2500 m2/g have been reported.)
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