Activated carbon is a carbonaceous, highly porous adsorptive medium that has a complex structure composed primarily of carbon atoms. The networks of pores in activated carbons are channels created within a rigid skeleton of disordered layers of carbon atoms, linked together by chemical bonds, stacked unevenly, creating a highly porous structure of nooks, crannies, cracks and crevices between the carbon layers.
Activated carbons are manufactured from coconut shell, peat, hard and soft wood, lignite coal, bituminous coal, olive pits and various carbonaceous specialty materials. Chemical activation or High Temperature Steam Activation mechanisms are used in the production of activated carbons from these raw materials.
The intrinsic pore network in the lattice structure of activated carbons allows the removal of impurities from gaseous and liquid media through a mechanism referred to as adsorption. This is the key to the performance of activated carbon.
Activated carbon, also called activated charcoal, is a form of carbon processed to have small, low-volume pores that increase the surface area available for adsorption or chemical reactions. Activated is sometimes substituted with active.