The first thing we must discuss while learning about carbon filter is what it is. A carbon filter is a method of removing impurities from water and air using its absorption.

Here, we will mainly discuss the water purifying aspect of the carbon filter.
Now, what is absorption? Absorption is a process by which one thing absorbs another or is absorbed by another.

Generally, in a carbon filter, the activated carbon absorbs the impurities in the water and helps in water purification.

How does carbon filter work?

Carbon filters are normally merged with different other water filtration systems. As mentioned earlier, a carbon filter uses absorption by activated carbon.

The source of this activated carbon, in general, may be bituminous coal, peat, and coconut shells.

Peat and coconut shell are more accessible, especially coconut shells. So coconut shells are used at large in carbon filters.
To create activated carbon, the material is heated at a high temperature without oxygen and is treated with high-temperature steam. The final product is activated carbon.
Carbon filters can be of two types-

  1. Carbon block filter.
  2. Granular activated carbon water filter.

Carbon block filter

Carbon block filters are made with finely ground activated carbon powder; then, it is combined with some binder to hold the finely ground activated carbon powder.

Finally, a solid block of such a mixture is created. Carbon block filters are compact.

That means it is more effective in removing contamination from water and purifying it. Although because of its compact nature, carbon block filters will take more time to purify the water as water flow through it normally is very slow.

Granular activated carbon water filter

Granular activated carbon water filters are made using grounded activated carbon which is held loosely in it.

No binding agent is used in it, such as in the carbon block filter.
Although granular activated carbon water filters are less effective in removing impurities from the water, they can purify more in a short period as compared to carbon block filters.

How effective is a carbon filter?

When filtering water, carbon filters are generally more effective at removing or extracting chlorine, solid particles, organic compounds and improving the water’s taste and odour.

But carbon filters are not effective at removing minerals, salts, and dissolved inorganic substances such as metal, calcium, and magnesium.

Benefits of carbon filter

• Carbon filters provide healthy and safe drinking water by removing the solid and organic impurities in it.
• Carbon filters are less costly.
• Replacing a carbon filter is easy, and therefore low maintenance is required.
• No fuel or electrician, or other source is required to make a carbon filter work. Only gravity alone is enough to make a carbon filter work.
• Carbon filter improves the odour and taste of water, making it even more suitable for drinking.
• It preserves the minerals in the water.
• Carbon filters are environmentally friendly.

Carbon filters can easily be combined with other water purification methods to make those other methods of water purification more effective.

Disadvantages of Carbon filters

• Carbon filters cannot remove inorganic compounds from the water such as metal, calcium, and magnesium.
• They have a short span of working life. When the activated carbon is filled with all the contaminations it can hold from water; it becomes ineffective.
• Carbon filters are not effective in the case of some pathogenic bacteria and viruses.

So, now you know all you need to know about carbon filters. Carbon filters are highly budget-friendly and environment-friendly.

They can help in improving your health as well. We suggest you give it a try. Drink more water, stay healthy.


Mike Brown has done Masters in Hydrology and Water Management. He loves coffee and likes to lecture people on climate change. He plays PUBG when he is not working.

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