Activated Carbon as Deodorant

Activated carbon, also called activated charcoal is a form of carbon that is processed to make it extremely porous and thus to have a very large surface area available for adsorption. Due to its high degree of micro porosity, just one gram of activated carbon has a surface area of more than 500 m2 (or about 2 tennis courts). Appropriate activation for specific applications results in optimum surface area and further chemical treatment often improves the adsorbing properties of the material. Activated carbon filters are widely used to reduce odors and because of its property of reducing the odor, it is a good deodorant.

What is odor?

The odor is the nose’s detection and the typical nose cannot detect the presence of the odor in air and the odor is felt absent, although the odor causing chemical is still there at some reduced level. Sometime, smelling most odors leads to a phenomenon called odor fatigue, where the nose’s sensitivity decreases with extended exposure. For example, someone entering the room can clearly smell the odor in a room, but the person who has been there in the room for a long time cannot sense the odor. Hence, if someone want to check the presence of an odor in a room, he/she must breathe some actual “fresh” air for some time; otherwise he/she cannot differentiate it.

How activated carbon removes odor?

Activated carbon is like a sponge it captures chemicals that cause odors and it works by a phenomenon called “Adsorption” where the odor compound is trapped inside the activated carbon and retained, but the material doing the adsorption does not change size. Adsorption differs from Absorption, which can also remove things, but is characterized by a physical change like swelling due to the amount of material removed. In Adsorption, there is an increase in weight.

At the adsorbed state, odor compound from the air gets trapped inside the activated carbon, which is like a mouse being trapped in a mouse trap where it cannot find a way to come out. Brand new activated carbon has lots of unoccupied holes, and virtually every compound that passes through gets trapped in the pores and it is retained.

When we are buying an activated carbon filter, we are basically buying a certain amount of odor removal capacity and that capacity is directly related to the quality and quantity of activated carbon in the filter.

Kalpaka Chemicals provides a better solution for this in terms of both quality and quantity of activated carbon in the filter.