Activated Carbon Filter – Working & usage in Air Conditioners, Air Purifiers!

Have you ever seen your water filter technician change the RO and other filters in your water purifier?

You must have noticed that one of the critical filters is the ‘Activated Carbon’ filter. These filters can remove the bad odours from the water and make it tasty to drink.

In the absence of this filter in the water purifier, the RO water would not have any taste at all. In fact, it can smell awful as well depending on the input water source.

These ‘Activated Carbon’ filters can purify the air in the same way. Let us see the importance of these filters in air purifiers and air conditioners.

Activated Carbon Filters – The Composition

As the name suggests, these filters contain activated carbon. Activated carbon is a granular or powdered piece of carbon treated to be extremely porous.

The more porous the carbon, the more effective is the filtering capacity. In fact, one gram of activated carbon can occupy a surface area of approximately 100 acres. It should now give you an idea about the filtering capacity of activated carbon.


Activated Carbon Filters – The Working

Carbon filtering envisages the use of a bed of carbon to remove impurities and harmful contaminants using the ‘Adsorption’ technique.

The adsorption process involves the chemical reaction between the volatile organic compounds present in the air with the activated carbon whereby they stick to the filter.

The reaction with Oxygen opens up millions of pores capable of trapping a significant amount of gas and bad odour. Therefore, the porosity of the activated carbon filters is directly proportional to the filtering capacity.

These activated carbon filters can remove these following hazardous impurities.

  • Volatile Organic Compounds
  • Smoke and other gases
  • Chlorine
  • Sediments
  • Herbicides and Pesticides
  • Odour

Therefore, the air passing through these filters become pure and healthy to breathe. The HEPA filters and the PM 2.5 filters can obstruct physical particles from passing through them.

The Activated carbon filters complement these filters beautifully by ensuring that the volatile organic compounds and other gases do not pass through as well.

Activated Carbon Filter – Pros & Cons

  • Capable of trapping VOCs and other harmful gases
  • Removes terrible odour from the air and supplies pure and healthy air
  • Variety of filters available such as coconut carbon filters and so on
  • Eliminates dangerous pollutants like carbon monoxide, ozone, and ethylene dioxide
  • These filters can trap only those chemicals that are attracted towards carbon. Hence, they cannot eliminate pollutants like sodium, nitrates, fluorides, and other heavy metals.
  • Short service life as the filters stop working after the bonding sites get filled with contaminants. Hence, you have to replace them regularly.
  • They cannot trap specific pathogenic bacteria. Hence, you need to use a combination of Activated Carbon and Nano Silver filters to cater to such issues.

Different Types of Activated Carbon Filter

The latest air purifiers on the market like the Mi brand come with ‘Activated Coconut Carbon Filters.’ These filters are handy as the activated carbon from the coconut shell has pores in the micropore range (approximately 85% to 90%).


It is in contrast to the other sources of carbon such as wood or peat that have pores in the macro and mesopore range. Therefore, these activated coconut carbon filters can trap the pollutants comfortably.

Also, these filters have a tight structure that gives it good mechanical strength and hardness. The Blueair air purifiers come with carbon filters containing compounds like magnesium dioxide and copper oxide that make these filters capable of trapping hazardous gas molecules such as carbon monoxide, ozone, and ethylene oxide.

You also find the major AC brands using the activated carbon filters as an additional line of defence to ensure that you get pure and healthy air to breathe.


    • Some of the latest Air Conditioners are pre equipped with Carbon Filter. No need to install separately.


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