Activated Carbon Adsorption

Activated carbon adsorption is a viable method in many odor control problems. Due to the nonpolar nature of its surface, activated carbon is effective in adsorbing organic and some inorganic materials. In general, organics having molecular weights over 45 and boiling points over 0°C are readily adsorbed.

The service life of activated carbon is limited by its capacity and the contaminating load. Therefore, provisions must be made for periodic renewal of the activated carbon. The renewal frequency is determined on the basis of performance deterioration (breakthrough) or according to a time schedule based on previous history or calculations of expected saturation. The exhausted carbon bed can be discarded or reactivated. Reactivation involves passing superheated steam through the carbon bed until sufficient material is desorbed. Recondensation of the material can recover it for reuse. This process is most suitable when only single compounds are involved. (Turk 1977).

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