Carbon filters are commonly used to purify both air and water. They work through the process of adsorption. Activated carbon has a huge surface area – 1 gram can have a surface area of over 1000m². This means that there are a lot of chemical bonding sites exposed which potential contaminants can bind to. Generally, this carbon will be activated with a positive charge so that negatively charged toxins are attracted towards the filter and get stuck on the binding sites. Activated carbon is often derived from charcoal but is treated to become extremely porous; this is what gives it its gigantic surface area.
Carbon filters can also be effective in removing odours and are sometimes used in greenhouses or in conjunction with a growing tent for cultivating certain crops. In fact, a lot of complete grow kits for sale include carbon filters in them. Many growers also attempt to DIY their own filters. It is vital for the growth of certain herbs, crops and medicinal and recreational drugs that their environment is sterile. Carbon filters are therefore a useful accessory as they can remove a large number of microorganisms, spores and complex organic compounds from the air which aids in reducing both contamination and odour. Similar filters can also be used to remove pesticides or herbicides, among other substances, from contaminated water sources as these foreign chemicals may be stunting or delaying plant growth.
Carbon filters can also be extremely beneficial inside our own homes, especially in conjunction with a HEPA filter. Used together, these filters can trap up to 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns or larger in diameter. Larger particles such as spores, pet hair and dust can also be filtered out of the air. This can be extremely beneficial to your respiratory health if you are, or live with, a smoker, as activated carbon traps gaseous substances such as smoke very effectively. This can reduce secondhand smoke inhalation massively and make the oxygen inside your home much cleaner and safer to breath.
So, do you need a carbon filter? Carbon filters present many benefits both in daily life and in agriculture. They are very effective filters and can remove a huge amount of contaminants both from water and from air. This allows many crops to grow healthily in a sterile environment without contamination and also allows for a purer water supply. Inside the home filters can provide many respiratory benefits, especially in removing secondhand smoke and therefore making the available oxygen safer and cleaner for everyone.