Uses of Activated Carbon as a Weapon against COVID-19 Infection
Activated carbon is one of the unsung heroes in the battle against COVID-19. It is one of the widely used components in the production of safety devices and processes, which are currently used as a prevention against COVID-19 infection. Moreover, it is widely used to eradicate pollutants from water and air.
The year 2020 has brought in many dreadful events and one among these is the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. All through the COVID-19 disaster, it is very important that we take good care of ourselves and stay safe. It is highly essential that we intake clean water, hygienic food, medicines, and protect ourselves from the pollution and harmful infections around us. This is the time when we should focus on using quality, safe, and hygienic products in our day-to-day routine. Activated carbon is an essential component and processing aid, the availability of which is crucial during this tough period. Below are some of the vital applications of activated carbon in essential products and services:
1. Purifying Drinking Water
Both powdered and granular forms of activated carbon are known to play a major part in the final step of the treatment of municipal drinking water which is usually obtained from both groundwater and surface water resources. It filters drinking water from lethal pesticides, chemicals, and pharmaceutical residues. It is also used for enhancing the taste and getting rid of bad odor from drinking water. It makes water sources usable and safe for drinking.
2. Respiratory Shield
For decades, activated carbon has been considered as a means of protecting people from the hazards of airborne impurities. In the past, face masks equipped with activated carbon were used to safeguard individuals from the dangers of a gas attack in times of a conflict, and today similar masks are used to prevent COVID-19 disease. There are a number of devices in the market that utilize activated carbon in combination with dust aerosol and other particulate matter filtration systems. From very basic anti-pollution masks with an activated carbon felt or fiber layer to more sumptuous face mask systems integrated with respirators and ventilation systems for the entire room, activated carbon plays an important role. Major players in the mask production sectors have started using activated carbon in the production of face masks equipped with an advanced filter, which is at present the best option to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection.
3. Treatment of Processed Water
Activated carbon is extensively used in the power generation plants to decontaminate and treat recycled condensate from boilers used in steam turbine systems. The recycled condensate if not treated with activated carbon, is likely to give rise to rapid degradation inside the boilers and cause irreparable damage to other water treatment systems.
4. Purification of Home Water or Beverages
Usually, the use of certain water treatment chemicals in residential water resources for instance chlorine can affect its taste or cause a potential health risk when consumed. People, families, and beverage manufacturers usually use their own water treatment system for purification. Activated carbon with its distinctive and versatile capabilities reduces contamination in water. Extensively increasing public awareness and the concern about safe drinking water have motivated many people to set up point-of-use carbon systems in their homes.
5. Medicines for Health
Activated carbon is generally used as a processing aid in the production of medicines such as paracetamol, from synthetic or natural raw materials. Furthermore, it is used as an active component in medicinal preparations and holds a place in the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) and European Pharmacopoeia (EP) listings. As activated carbon plays a significant role in the treatment, purification, and decolorization of liquids, it experiences massive demand from the pharmaceutical industries.
Impact of COVID-19 on the Production of Activated Carbon:
The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses involved in the activated carbon market to pause their business processes and obey the lockdown rules enforced by the government. This has obstructed the production sector and also, disrupted the manufacturing supply chain. The stoppage in manufacturing operations is directly affecting the revenue cycle of the global activated carbon industry. As per a report by Research Dive, the activated carbon industry is estimated to recover by the end of 2022 from the losses incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, at present, the demand for activated carbon is on rise as it is extensively used in the production of several essential products that are highly in-demand during the COVID-19 crisis period.
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