Activated charcoal is a small black substance created from coconut shells, wood chips, or nut shells. It is created by burning these substances in a climate that is without the presence of oxygen.
Once the chemical process is completed the activated charcoal is able to bind to and absorb substance much greater than the size of the particle.
For centuries natural charcoal has been used for the treatment of ailments and injuries. However, activated charcoal is the now the number one treatment of poisonings and overdoses. It is a very effective means of treating these unfortunate conditions.
Chemical Poisoning Uses of Activated Charcoal
Charcoal Help with Overdose Every year thousands of children suffer from ingestion of chemical products in the home. These products can range from floor cleaners to hair dyes. Once ingested these products can work like an acid and cause permanent damage or even death to humans.
However, by ingesting activated charcoal these substances can be absorbed very quickly before too much damage is done. Activated charcoal is safe for human consumption and has very few side effects when ingested.
The most common side effect is constipation which is much better than the alternative damage that can be suffered. It is now possible for parents to buy tablets or granules of activated charcoal and keep it in the home in case of an emergency.
Even with the greatest amount of caution and care it is possible for an overdose to occur. While some people will overdose intentionally a number of cases occur purely from accident.
With so many medications on the market today it is very east to confuse on pill for another. For someone taking several different medications, this is a real risk. Luckily, if this does happen activated charcoal can now be used to remove the extra medications from the system.
It can be ingested orally and will work as it goes down through the body. It will absorb all the medication and stop the process of overdose before it can even begin.
Natural Poisoning Uses
For those who live in rural areas the risk or snake or spider bite can be very real. Activated charcoal works to remove natural poisoning in the same way it does medical or chemical.
However, activated charcoal can also be used on the surface of the bite to draw the poisons out. Individuals can use this life saving particle. However, many hospitals are already using this treatment for the removal of natural poisons.
There are many ways that activated charcoal can provide life saving assistance from poisons or chemicals. This product is much safer than alternative methods of stomach pumping or other chemical substances.
Rather than trying to fight one drug or chemical with another activated charcoal can be used. While activated charcoal can cause stomach upset, cramps, vomiting, or constipation it is the safest means of removing toxins from the body.
Many people even use it when they have a stomach upset due to eating a bad product or food. It is very effective at removing many types of contaminates from the GI tract.
Author Resource:- Carbon Resources Management Team has over 70 years of experience in the Activated Carbon and Activated Charcoal carbons industry. Our Sabre series® activated carbon products are the most diverse line of activated carbon products on the market.
Benefits of an Activated Charcoal Water Filter
Author: Stephanie Singer
Most gravity fed water filters, and many force fed filters, contain a charcoal filter. Charcoal is formed by the destructive distillation of wood. This yields several burnable gases, wood alcohol, acetic acid, and some other products. The solid residue resulting from this process is charcoal.
Charcoal is a black, brittle solid that is very porous. It is also odorless and tasteless. Though denser than water, charcoal can float! It does this because it is able to adsorb solids and gases so well. When charcoal has the opportunity to adsorb enough gases, they make it float.
Activated charcoal, coal, or carbon is charcoal that has been processed to make it extra porous. Because of this, just one gram of activated carbon has a surface area of approximately 500 m2 but this could be as much as 1500 m2! Considering that it takes 454 grams to make a pound and that a tennis court has 260 m2, it is easy to see just how porous it is! This increased surface area means that more impurities will touch the charcoal as they pass by.
The secret of charcoal s filtering ability is in the fact that it is so good at adsorbing (not absorbing). Adsorption is the concentration of a gas, liquid, or solid on the surface of a liquid or solid with which it is in contact. Just one cubic centimeter of charcoal is able to adsorb 90 cc of ammonia gas though it adsorbs other substances far better.
Pollutants that are dissolved in the water as it passes through the filter come in contact with the activated charcoal. These substances are actually attracted to the charcoal by van der Waals forces. Wiki explains these forces this way. In physical chemistry, the van der Waals force is the attractive or repulsive forces between molecules (or between parts of the same molecule) other than those due to covalent bonds or to the electrostatic interaction of ions with one another or with neutral molecules.
It gets more technical that that but, suffice it to say, molecular forces bind some compounds to the charcoal. Activated carbon does not bind well with some chemicals. These include alcohols, glycols, ammonia, strong acids and bases, metals and most inorganics, such as lithium, sodium, iron, lead, arsenic, fluorine, and boric acid.
In one sense this is good. For example, our bodies need the minerals in water and we wouldn t want them filtered out. Some who live in cities where the water if fluoridated want it left in the water for family dental health. But other substances on the list are clearly unwanted and the filter must contain other adsorbers to remove these.
In conclusion, water and contaminants pass through the activated charcoal filter and, because of the filter?s porosity, the substances will likely come in contact with the carbon. The van der Waals forces will cause the substances to be attracted to the charcoal where they will remain until the filter is washed or replaced. For the contaminant, it is dead end road. For the person drinking the water, it is refreshing and healthy.