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Comment Separation Processes

Activated Carbon

By Chemical Engineering |

Sorbent materials are used commercially for bulk separation, as well as purification of both liquids and gases. This one-page reference provides manufacturing and application information on the most widely used industrial sorbent material — activated carbon. Four types of generic sorbents have dominated industrial adsorption: activated carbon, zeolites, silica gel and activated alumina. By worldwide sales, activated carbon is by far the most widely used — its manufacture and sale date back to the 19th century, and global annual demand for activated carbon exceeds 1.2 million metric tons. The most common raw materials for manufacturing activated carbon are coal, coconut shells, wood, peat and petroleum coke. Adsorption As with other sorbent materials, activated carbon works when molecules adhere to its surface in an adsorption process. Adsorption can be thought of as the accumulation of gaseous components, or solutes dissolved in liquids, onto a solid surface. Adsorption is primarily a physical process (substances do not undergo chemical reactions with the adsorbent). If chemical agents are applied to an adsorbent, they may react with solutes in a process known as chemisorption, in which the deposited substances are chemically…
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