What is an activated carbon filter? How is it useful with air purifiers?

An activated carbon is nothing but processed charcoal that is capable of adsorbing chemicals and gases on its surface. Adsorption is the chemical bonding between atoms. The activated carbon will have active molecules in it that are ready to indulge in chemical reactions. This facility of activated carbon is being utilized in air filters for filtering the chemicals and gases from the air. Activated carbon filters are considered the best filtering method. Many of the activated carbon filters will also have additional molecules attached to it to improve the absorbency towards more chemicals.
What makes activated carbon filter effective in air purifiers?
The activated carbon will have a porous surface with numerous minute pores all over. These pores will increase the surface area as well as the overall effectiveness. More the surface area more will be its ability to attract the chemicals. Precisely, one gram of activated carbon could have more than 500 m2 of area. all those pores will also have that much more active carbon molecules ready to attract the chemicals or gases. As these bonding between the pollutants and the carbon are chemical, the bond is hard to break and those adsorbed chemicals will stay there in those pores for long or forever.
What all pollutants can the activated carbon filter remove?
Activated carbon filters with the porous surface could trap all kinds of air pollutants. Since the larger particles could reduce the life of the carbon filter, it is better to use it only for the chemical pollutants. The larger particles could be trapped in those pores and could keep it there.

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Advantages and disadvantages of activated carbon filter
• What makes the activated carbon filter advantageous over the HEPA filter is the fact that the main invisible pollutants are the chemical s that is smaller than the 0.3 micron threshold for the HEPA filters. Activated carbon could eliminate the particles that are smaller than 0.1 microns. The HEPA filters are not known to eliminate the VOCS and other gases from the air.

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• The odor and smoke also are only eliminated with an activated carbon filter.
• Activated carbon filter can work under any temperature or climate; moist or dry, this could work efficiently.
• It does not add to the air pollutants and completely safe to use anywhere. It is been used in schools, hospitals, airports and all kinds of crowded or sensitive areas.
• Activated carbon filters will have better longevity than other filters.

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The main disadvantage of activate carbon filter is that there are limitation in adsorbing certain chemicals. It has less affinity towards some of the pollutants. In order to overcome this limitation, the impregnated carbon filters that have the additional coating of another molecule or compound is used.