Everything you need to know about activated carbon

Activated carbon is one of the oldest known remedies used as a medicine. The effects of activated carbon were already known in ancient Greece and ancient Egypt. Today, this substance is still used in many ways and is very useful in medicine and dental care, for example.

What exactly is activated carbon?

Activated carbon is a particularly fine-grained carbon that is very porous and has a large internal surface area. Activated carbon powder is used in medicine, in the treatment of water and wastewater, in air conditioning and ventilation technology and in the chemical industry, among other things. Activated carbon is usually sold in tablet form, as granules or powder. Activated carbon consists mainly of carbon. The proportion of carbon is usually over 90%. Activated carbon has a very porous structure. Like a sponge, the individual pores are interconnected. To better understand how large the inner surface area of activated carbon is, one can consider that the inner surface area of two grams of this substance is comparable to the size of a football field.

Where does activated carbon come from?

Activated carbon can be obtained from various substances. Mineral, animal, vegetable and petrochemical substances can serve as a basis. Typical source materials for the extraction of activated carbon include nut shells, wood, brown and hard coal, peat and plastics. Activated carbon that is produced on the basis of vegetable raw materials is also referred to as vegetable carbon. Animal charcoal, on the other hand, is of animal origin and can be produced from the blood or bones of animals, for example. Activated carbon is usually produced by a process using dehydrating agents. These dehydrating agents can be phosphoric acid or zinc chloride, for example. 500 to 900 °C are necessary to obtain activated carbon. Alternatively, activated carbon is obtained by dry distillation. The result of both manufacturing processes is the so-called raw activated carbon. This is then treated further by oxidation at 700 to 1000 °C. Air, carbon dioxide or water vapour are used in this process. In order to adapt the properties of activated carbon even better to its intended use, it can be mixed with other chemicals. For filter carbon - as required for filters in gas masks, for example - metal salts can also be used.

What applications are there for activated carbon?

Activated carbon is primarily used as an adsorbent. Activated carbon can be used to remove unwanted odours, flavours and colours from liquids, gases and vapours. It is also used in wastewater treatment to filter certain substances from wastewater. Other applications include cabin air filters in the automotive industry, the treatment of raw water and its use in sorption pumps. In medicine, activated carbon is known above all for its properties as a detoxifying agent. In cases of poisoning, activated carbon can help to bind the toxins absorbed in the body and remove them from the organism. Activated carbon is also used for gastrointestinal diseases. A doctor should always be consulted in the event of illness or poisoning.

How is activated carbon used in the beauty sector?

Activated carbon is also being used more and more in the beauty sector. Activated carbon is already a component of numerous cosmetic products. The black substance is added to masks and peelings, for example. In skin care products, activated carbon is said to provide a more even and cleaner skin texture. Activated carbon is also added to shampoos and toothpaste. In toothpastes, activated carbon helps to make teeth shine white and in shampoos, it prevents the scalp from becoming greasy again too quickly. Last but not least, activated carbon is also used to detoxify the body - for example as an addition to a smoothie - and to whiten teeth.

How does bleaching with activated carbon work?

Bright white teeth stand for beauty, vitality and purity. A beautiful smile with white teeth is incredibly attractive. Activated carbon is also very useful for whitening teeth. Activated carbon has the property of binding substances very well. This also applies to impurities in the teeth. With the help of activated carbon, unpleasant plaque is removed and the teeth whiten naturally. Residues from tea or coffee consumption, for example, no longer stand a chance. Would you like to whiten your teeth a little and make your smile look more natural? We offer you products with and without activated carbon that help you to achieve an even more attractive smile.

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