Carbon (GAC) filters increasing in popularity…

Use of sediment and granular activated carbon (GAC) filters increasing in popularity.

The access to naturally fresh water is dwindling as the world’s population and global pollution increases. In addition, people’s decreasing trust in municipal water treatment and the water’s subsequent delivery infrastructure, leads to the increased use of granular activated carbon (GAC) and sediment filters that will remove organic material and sediment from the water. There are plenty of options to choose from including Purtex, Aquatrex, Matrikx, and Pentek. These filters are widely used in both standard and Big Blue sizes. Depending on your specific needs for water filtration there is an available solution for you. Innovations in the materials that are available and the technologies surrounding GAC and sediment filtration methods are making this more accessible, but what exactly is GAC and sediment filtration and how do they work?

Granular activated carbon is made from coal, wood, or coconut shells, and other high carbon organic materials. The process to activate the carbon in these organic materials involves using heat in an environment that doesn’t contain oxygen. This charring process is also why these filters are referred to as “charcoal”. When the water is passed by these GAC the activated carbon absorbs certain chemicals that are very small and dissolved. GAC filtration is able to remove organic compounds including VOCs, radon, and chlorine. The more time the water spends in contact with the GAC and the greater the surface area that is exposed, the better efficiency of organic chemical removal will be.

GAC units and sediment filters are widely used in water filters either on their own or as part of a reverse osmosis system. There are several factors that are contributing to the increasing popularity of GAC and sediment filters in water filtration including: ease of installation, ease of operation, low capital cost, and the dependability of the results. Most water filtration systems just require a plug and play replacement or installation of the GAC units. Similarly once in operation the filter only requires periodic sampling and checking for pressure drips. Usually as part of a larger water filtration system replacing the individual filters is a cost effective way to remove chemicals as well as larger particles. The life of the filters can also be extended by proper maintenance and procedures such as backwashing. GAC units are dependably able to remove most organic chemicals and sediment almost completely from the water that could negatively affect the RO membranes.

GAC and other carbon filters produced by Purtex, Aquatrex, Matrikx, and Pentek, are usually rated by the effective size of particles that they are able to remove. This is measured in microns and the most common range is from 50 microns (being the least effective) down to as small as 0.5 microns (most effective). Most household water filtration systems will contain 12 to 24 ounces of activated carbon and the most effective type of GAC is widely believed to be made from the coconut shells. As you would expect this also means that filters that contain coconut shell carbon cost about 20% more than other GAC filters.

As an effective and inexpensive way to remove volatile organic compounds and other carcinogens, GAC and sediment filtration are quickly increasing in popularity. Everyone needs clean drinking water and with increasing use of chemicals in industry and agriculture people need a dependable, effective and low cost way to treat water at point of use. GAC and sediment filters by Purtex, Aquatrex, Matrikx, and Pentek, can meet this need and give users the customized water filtration solution that they require. GAC filters can be used on their own but they are most popularly used as part of a larger water filtration system, often utilizing reverse osmosis.