granular activated carbon

Granular activated carbon is a filtration media used in a variety of applications. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, granular activated carbon actually consists of various organic materials with high levels of carbon. These materials combine to create granular activated carbon products. High heat increases the carbon’s surface area, “activating” it to increase its filtration capabilities.

A granular activated carbon filter has several potential uses. They include the following:

Water Filtration

Water filtration is among the most common applications of granular activated carbon. When water passes through a granular activated carbon filter, it captures certain chemicals.

Granular activated carbon does need to be replaced after some time. As it accumulates more chemicals and contaminants, its ability to continue trapping them diminishes. That said, one of the benefits of granular activated carbon is that it’s often recyclable.

Automotive Applications

Potential uses of granular activated carbon filters in motor vehicles include:

  • Filtering interior cabin air
  • Reducing harmful emissions
  • Improving battery performance capabilities in ultracapacitors

By reducing harmful emissions, granular activated carbon in a motor vehicle can protect nearby motorists, pedestrians, and the entire planet.

Food and Beverage Industry

The following are just a few applications of granular activated carbon in the food industry:

  • Purifying oils
  • Removing unwanted colors from fruit juices
  • Adjusting the overall flavor profiles of alcoholic beverages

In some instances, purification with granular activated carbon can also make certain foods safer to eat than they would otherwise be.

Chemical Manufacturing

Consumers aren’t always aware of the ways in which they benefit from granular activated carbon filtration. For example, many different chemical products involve granular activated carbon filtration during their manufacturing processes. Proper filtration can improve their overall performance.


Many of the raw materials in various pharmaceutical products may go through granular activated carbon filtration first. In addition, granular activated carbon is often a step in the process of manufacturing such personal care items as soaps.

Gold Mining

Granular activated carbon is a very effective gold adsorbent. Thus, in gold mining, some use it to recover gold that might otherwise be lost as a result of the mining process.

Air Filtration

Granular activated carbon offers the following air filtration applications:

  • Reducing emissions from coal fired utilities
  • Filtering cigarettes
  • Filtering flue gas

Be aware, granular activated filtration processes can vary from one application to another. The type of filter you would use to purify water with granular activated carbon isn’t the same as the filtration mechanism in a cigarette filter.

Additional Applications of Granular Activated Carbon

This is by no means a full list of all the potential uses for granular activated carbon. For example, mixing it with fertilizer can protect seeds from herbicides and pesticides. The military also uses granular activated carbon to protect those whose roles may expose them to harmful chemicals and other such hazards.

Granular activated carbon also isn’t one product. Different varieties and sizes of granular activated carbon offer different capabilities. Explore your options thoroughly to choose the right granular activated carbon filter for your needs.

Puragen offers carbon filtration solutions for numerous applications across a range of industries.