​Cleaning industrial waste gases made easier with activated carbon filters

OdourPro on 30 April 2019

Activated carbon was first used commercially early in the 20thcentury as a decolouriser in the sugar industry. In the first world war, it became an essential element in the manufacture of gas masks. This is due to its ability to adsorb noxious and odorous compounds from gases. Over the years activated carbon has been applied to purifying drinking water, recovery of solvents and as catalysts.

The density of urban development has elevated the need for commercial and industrial companies to implement odour control solutions. Their facilities are often close to residential facilities and any odour excursion is likely to arise in complaints and possible investigations from regulators.

The simplicity and effectiveness of this method makes it the most popular form of odour control. 

OdourPro has a number of activated carbon odour control solutions. Find out how we can help you make the most out of activated carbon filters.

What is activated carbon?

Activated carbon is specially treated with oxygen to open up millions of tiny spaces between the carbon atoms. The result is a very large surface area - between 300 and 2,000 square meters per gram.

How does activated carbon work?

As volatile substances pass through an active carbon filter, their molecules attach themselves to the open sites. One reason these filters are so popular in commercial and industrial settings is their high efficiency. Up to 99% of odorous substances are removed from the air by activated carbon filter technology. It is important to note that some odorous materials are also toxic. Therefore, activated carbon filters solve not only a nuisance issue, but also a health issue.

Over time, the active sites of the carbon filter will eventually become saturated. When this happens, the contaminants will no longer be removed from the air stream and odours will be released into the atmosphere. Filters need to be replaced on a routine frequency or when they are depleted. Special attention should be given to the system if there is a process event that overloads the filter. If there is any doubt about the remaining capacity of the filter, it should be replaced.

Industrial and commercial uses of activated carbon

commercial activated carbon air filters

In terms of commercial and industrial odour control, active carbon filters are widely used. Some examples are:

  • Municipal wastewater

  • Industrial water treatment and processing

  • Food and dairy processing

  • Meat and livestock

In industrial systems, VOCs or other odour compounds must be removed before waste gases are discharged to atmosphere. Activated carbon solutions provide the simplest and most effective method for performing this function. Essentially, a contaminated air-stream passes through the filter and comes out the other side as a clean air stream. It is very important for industrial complexes to have reliable and efficient odour control solutions because of their proximity to residential or commercial areas.

Choosing the right type of activated carbon

Not all activated carbons act on the same contaminants. A solution must be chosen that matches the type of activated carbon to the particular odour source. 

Vapour phase activated carbon removes VOCs and hydrocarbon materials. Impregnated activated carbon distribute a chemical through the carbon filter medium that target specific contaminants. Using this method, activated carbon filters can target H2S, ammonia, and mercaptans. Caustic impregnated carbon is one example of this.

OdourPro technical experts evaluate your odour sources to ensure a good match between the activated carbon type and the odour sources at your industrial or commercial facility.

OdourPro activated carbon products

OdourPro offers fan-assisted filters, passive vent filters and also modular hybrid filter systems.

Fan-assisted filters use fans to draw the air stream through the filter medium. They are suited to environments where the process flow is not constant as they cope well with varying operating conditions. These filters are commonly used on pump stations.

Passive vent filters allow the process conditions to push the air stream through the filter. They can be mounted on stacks for industrial applications. Other models are ground mounted. A multi-cartridge range ensures the right filter design for your particular odour sources.

Modular hybrid filter systems use a combination of biofilters and activated carbon filters. This combination provides comprehensive odour removal. The biofiltration phase also reduces the load on the carbon filters thus prolonging their life. This reduces the operating costs of filter replacements.

Contact OdourPro for activated carbon filters

activated carbon air filters

OdourPro has more than 25-years experience in odour control in Australia. Our filter models are designed and customised to the specific odour sources in commercial and industrial facilities. We also offer maintenance and service contracts to ensure your system remains operating and design conditions. 

Find out more about our activated carbon filter solutions or call our expert team on 1800 510 704 today to arrange a consultation.