Selection of Carbon Steel Material Filter

Let’s talk about the superhero of water filters – the activated carbon filter! You might have heard it called a “charcoal filter”. Basically, it is made up of small carbon particles that have tons of capillary pores. Think of them like little vacuum cleaners that suck up impurities in water.

Figure 1 Carbon

These pores are incredibly powerful at absorbing stuff, like a black hole in space. Because there are so many pores on each particle, they have a vast surface area to catch all the bad stuff in your water. That’s why activated carbon filters effectively remove impurities like colloids.

But wait, there’s more! These filters trap chlorine ions, ozone, and organic compounds in water. They are like water detectives with superpowers if you have discolored water, activated carbon filters can help with that too!

In the water treatment industry, we look for activated carbon filters with an iodine value of 700mg or more. That is why AC filters are super strong to handle even the toughest water impurities. The next time you enjoy a refreshing glass of water, think about all the hard work that goes into making it safe and delicious, thanks to activated carbon filters!

Figure 2 Activated Carbon Filter

1. The Function of the Activated Carbon Filter

Activated carbon filter media can remove odor, color, residual chlorine, colloid, organic matter (synthetic detergents, pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, synthetic dyes, trihalomethanes, halogenated acetic acids, endocrine disruptors such as phthalates, etc.), heavy metals (such as mercury, silver, cadmium, chromium, lead, nickel, etc.), radioactive substances, etc. It is the earliest and most widely used practical water purification material in the industry. 

Activated carbon is used not only in generally activated carbon water purifiers, but also in home reverse osmosis pure water, and most ultrafiltration, ceramic, KDF, UV, and other water purifiers. Activated carbon and KDF can both remove the residual chlorine in water, but KDF and chlorine react to generate zinc ions (Zn2+), which may cause excessive zinc in the water while using activated carbon to remove chlorine does not have this concern.

During the activation process, activated carbon forms a large number of various-shaped micropores, forming a huge surface area with adsorption capacity. The larger the surface area, the better the adsorption effect.

2. Characteristics of Activated Carbon Filter

Figure 3 Stainless steel activated carbon filtration system

  • The active carbon adsorption filter cylinder adopts a hydraulic simulation design with a long diameter and uses active carbon with reasonable particle size and a specific surface area greater than 1000㎡/g, which provides both upper-layer filtration and lower-layer adsorption functions, greatly improving the water purification level and the lifespan of the carbon.
  • The residual chlorine content of the water after treatment by the active carbon adsorption filter is ≤0.1PPM.
  • It is effective in removing odor, organic matter, colloid, iron, and residual chlorine from water.
  • It has a good effect on reducing water turbidity, and color, purifying water quality, and reducing pollution to subsequent systems (such as reverse osmosis, ultrafiltration, ion exchange, etc.).

3. Structure of Activated Carbon Filter

Activated carbon filters are generally made of stainless steel 304 or carbon steel because activated carbon can corrode the tank due to the adsorption of oxidants such as chlorine (CL) in water, metal ions, bacteria, and chemicals. Therefore, the inside of the activated carbon filter is usually lined with rubber to prevent corrosion.

Figure 4 Structure of Activated Carbon Filter

4. Regeneration Method of Activated Carbon

After the activated carbon has been in operation, various organic substances, microorganisms, and impurities accumulate in the micropores, which require regeneration or recovery.

Figure 5 Regeneration Method of Activated Carbon

  • Heat to 100°C and vaporize the water in the micropores or bake at 800°C to oxidize the organic matter in the pores.
  • Use around 10% acid or alkali to clean the organic matter in the micropores.
  • Use steam to blow and regenerate the activated carbon, removing bacteria and blowing off organic matter and impurities in the gaps.

5. Application Range of Activated Carbon Filters

Activated carbon filters can meet the filtering precision requirements of hydraulic systems and prevent impurities from entering the system. The filter element should have sufficient strength and not be damaged by pressure. It should have a high flow rate and a low-pressure loss and should be easy to clean and replace. AC filters are widely used in:

6. Technical Parameters of Activated Carbon Filters

Filtering Speed

8 – 12 m3/h

Working Temperature

Room temperature

Working Pressure Backwash Compressed Air Volume

18 – 25L/m2.S

Filter Bed Height

1000 – 1200mm, an expansion rate of 50%

Backwash Intensity

9 – 15L/m2.S

Backwash Time

4 – 6 minutes

7. Selecting Activated Carbon Filters

Specifications (mm)

Reference Flow Rate (T) Activated Carbon Quantity (T) Inlet/Outlet Port Size (DN)


2-3 0.16



4-5 0.22 40
Φ800X1500 5 0.3



10 0.45 65
Φ1200X1500 15 0.65



20 0.86 65


25 1


Φ1600X1500 30 1.2



40 1.5 80
Φ2000X1500 50 1.8



60 2.2



70 2.5



80 3 125


90 3.5


Φ3000X1500 100 4


Φ3200X1500 1200 4.5


8. Precautions for Installing Activated Carbon Filters

Figure 6 Installing Activated Carbon Filter System

  • Coarse oil filter at the pump inlet.
  • The high-pressure oil filter on the oil circuit at the pump outlet.
  • The low-pressure oil filter on the system returns the oil circuit.
  • A bypass filtration system is installed outside the system.
  • Pay attention to the analysis of the adsorption capacity of activated carbon, timely replace the activated carbon, or disinfect and regenerate it with high-pressure steam.
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