Improving air quality with activated carbon technology

activated carbon

As the world’s population continues to grow and people grow ever more dependent on energy and consumables, the quality of air is destined to suffer.

The amount of toxic gases in the atmosphere has risen sharply since the industrial revolution thanks to the extensive use of fossil fuels and the burning of such fuels to release energy. There is a lack of concern for the environment and atmosphere collectively. The air can get filled with toxic gasses such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide and sulphur dioxide.

These gasses are acidic in nature and affect the respiratory tract of humans and other organisms adversely by limiting our lung capacity, incapacitating and compromising breathability.  This leads to several health concerns, immune system become weaker leaving more room for viruses and diseases to be more potent, reduced lung capacity can affect mortality rates negatively and worse these toxic gasses can contribute to cancers and other debilitating conditions that are incurable.

activated carbon

The only answer is reduction of dependence on such fuels and needs. But this does not seem to be effective. The next best solution is defence and prevention. Air purification has proven a successful way of limiting the amount of harmful pollutants in the air.

Originally scientists experimented with asbestos based air purification systems during world war 1 and 2. These while effective were overtime harmful to the user as the asbestos broke down over time. The asbestos powder would reach the lungs causing damage the masks and filters were intended to stop.

In the 20th and 21st century, scientist discovered that inert carbon by products from the burning of vegetable based organic material can be engineered to filter out impurities from air and liquids. The dry inert nature of carbon meant that it could absorb air and water retaining impurities.

The carbon was furthered engineered to be a molecular filter. This enabled the activated carbon to be used as a filter for air systems where the air would pass through the filter trapping the harmful pollutant molecules while letting clean air come out the other end. Industry being the main source of pollutant gasses, can stem the problem at the source by adopting activated carbon flue gas filtration solutions, these can trap the aforementioned pollutants as well extremely harmful by products such as Mercury vapour.

Companies such as Haycarb in the USA are pioneering activated carbon solutions based on coconut husk. From private to commercial use, activated carbon products are easy to setup and use, last a long time and are biodegradable.

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