Activated Carbon: Types and Health Benefits
Activated carbon, also called active charcoal, is widely used in skin care products to treat acne and dandruff, household purposes, automotive applications, and industrial applications like water treatment and gas purification. Activated carbon is a significant purifying agent and is commonly used to decolorize, deodorize, dechlorinate, and purify liquids and gases.
The world’s growing population has never-ending demands and the continuous technological evolution is unceasingly catering to these desires by utilizing several resources like water, fuel, and a wide range of chemicals. One such resource is activated carbon which is used in various skin care products, the food and beverages industry, and many other sectors as a purifying agent. This active penetration of activated carbon in our daily lives is the main factor to boost its market growth. As per a report published by Research Dive, the global activated carbon market is predicted to register a revenue of $9,055.1 million by 2026 and grow at a stable CAGR of 8.9%.
Now that we know that the market is here to stay and offer much more to its customers, let’s explore the meaning of activated carbon, its common types, and its health benefits.
What is Activated Carbon? What are the Types of Activated Carbon?
Activated carbon, also called activated charcoal, is an adsorbent with a high surface area, high degree of surface reactivity, and impressive pore structure that is actively used to purify, deodorize, dechlorinate, and decolorize vapor and liquid molecules. Additionally, activated carbons are also used to purify food products, water, and is used in several industrial applications, cosmetology, petroleum and metal recovery for gold, automotive applications, etc. Moreover, activated charcoal is a black, flavorless, and odorless powder that is also used to treat drug overdoses or as an emergency remedy.
Some of the most common types of activated carbon are as follows:
- Coal-based Activated Carbon
Coal-based activated carbon is obtained from steam activated coal. This type of activated carbon has meso and macro pores and is highly preferable for aquarium water purification, portable water purification, and gas purification purposes.
- Catalytic based Activated Carbon
Catalytic based activated carbon is used to remove hydrogen sulfide and chloramines from drinking water since it has all the adsorptive properties and promotes chemical reactions. This type of activated carbon is obtained by altering its surface and is then modified by gas processing at extreme temperatures for inducing the highest level of catalytic activity on carbon.
- Coconut Shell-based Activated Carbon
These types of activated carbons have high hardness as well as more abrasion resistance than other types. Since these are natural and environment-friendly products, coconut shell-based activated carbons have a low carbon footprint and efficiently absorb impurities present in air and water molecules.
- Wood-based Activated Carbon
Wood-based activated carbon is obtained by specific woods and sawdust and is mostly preferred for the discoloration of liquids. Unlike coal-based, these activated carbons have meso and macro pores and have great porosimetry.
- Impregnated Activated Carbon
Impregnated activated carbons are carbonaceous adsorbents that have finely distributed chemicals on their surface. The impregnation process synergizes the existing properties of the activated carbon and optimizes the bond between chemicals and the carbon molecule. This type of activated carbon is mostly used in gas purification and water treatment.
Covid-19 Impact on Activated Carbon Market
The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has forced several businesses to face harsh unprecedented times, including the global activated carbon market. To curb the spread of this deadly communal coronavirus, governments imposed strict lockdowns and social distancing norms across the world. This led to significant obstructions in the manufacturing units as well as the industrial supply chains, thus affecting the availability of raw materials.
However, with the reopening of businesses, governments have now allowed more industries to operate post the pandemic chaos. And so, market analysts predict that the global activated carbon market shall witness profitability by the 1st and 2nd quarter of 2023.
Health Benefits of Activated Carbon
- Used as an emergency anti-poison treatment
- Promotes kidney function
- Reduces cholesterol levels
- May help in treating diarrhea
- Potentially whitens teeth
Activated carbon or charcoal is a natural remedy and is used in other industrial applications too like water treatment, gas purification, metal recovery for gold, and many others. Since people try activated carbon for household and cosmetic purposes, it is mostly considered safe to use and has fewer adverse reactions.
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