Activated Carbon filters are mechanical filtration media used in air purifiers to adsorb and trap volatile organic compounds (VOCs), odors, gases, and smoke. Activated Carbon filters come in three primary forms. 1) Fibre Activated Carbon Filters (FAC) are thin fibrous filters (often felt-like) with fiber-bonded carbon. 2) Granular Activated Carbon Filters (GAC) are cartridge filters containing loose-fill carbon or activated carbon pellets. This form often is directly added as a layer to other filtration media, such as a pleated True HEPA filter. 3) Some manufacturers may embed activated carbon or fiber-bond the carbon with other synthetic filtration media, such as a True HEPA filter.
The chemistry behind the adsorptive capabilities of Activated Carbon filters is activated carbon itself. Also referred to as a carbonaceous material, Activated Carbon is porous in structure and can be produced from carbon-rich and plant-based organic matter. In air purifiers, Activated Carbon purifies the air by adsorbing organic gases, molecules, and VOCs as it passes through the filtration media.
The efficiency of Activated Carbon filters, like many filtration media, depends on numerous factors, including ambient humidity, filter quality, and the seal level within the air purifier itself. However, when applied adequately, Activated Carbon filters are a critical component to an air purifier's efficiency in reducing VOCs, smoke, and odors, improving the overall quality of air.