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Difference Between Carbon and Activated Carbon

ZZ Group. is one of the leading activated carbon cloth manufacturers. We mainly supply two kinds of activated carbon fiber fabric, one is ordinary active carbon non-woven fabric and the other is active carbon fiber felt. In this article, we’d like to introduce you something about the difference between carbon and activated carbon.

In terms of the element composition and structure of the substance, there is not much difference between activated carbon and carbon. That is to say, they are all composed of carbon elements and porous. The difference between activated carbon and general carbon is that activated carbon is more loose and "active" (adsorption capacity) than general carbon. Activated carbon is made of carbon, but the "active" of general carbon is not strong. Generally, the charcoal used to make activated carbon is made from walnut shell, coconut shell and other nut shell by high temperature carbonization, and then the charcoal is treated by high temperature water vapor to remove the oil and make the holes in the charcoal open. In this way, the carbon is made into active carbon.

There are three differences between activated carbon and carbon: source, main components and use

1. Different sources

Activated carbon is a product obtained by activation treatment of wood, coal and other materials. In addition to carbonization process, activated carbon also goes through activation, pickling and drying stages.

Charcoal is the residual dark brown or black porous solid fuel after incomplete combustion of wood or wood raw materials, or pyrolysis under the condition of air isolation. Charcoal only goes through the carbonization stage.

2. Different main components

More than 80% - 90% of the activated carbon is composed of carbon elements. In addition to carbon elements, there are two kinds of admixtures: one is chemically combined elements, mainly oxygen and hydrogen. These elements are left in the carbon due to incomplete carbonization, or because in the activation process, foreign non-carbon elements are chemically combined with the surface of the activated carbon.

The main component of carbon is carbon element, and the ash content is very low. In addition, there are hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and a small amount of other elements, whose content has little relationship with tree species. It mainly depends on the final temperature of carbonization. Charcoal has a lot of micropores and transition pores. This makes it have a high specific surface area, and it produces carbon dioxide when fully burned with oxygen, and carbon monoxide, a toxic gas, when not completely burned.

3. Different purposes

Activated carbon is widely used in the advanced treatment of wastewater because of its high adsorption capacity for organic matter. Activated carbon is also used for chemical catalyst and carrier, gas purification, solvent recovery, and oil decolorization and refining. Activated carbon is often used to absorb and remove indoor pollution, furniture odor, car odor, etc.

Our activated carbon fiber fabric utilizes the advantage of activated carbon, which makes the activated carbon fiber cloth has good adsorption, thin thickness and good air permeability. The activated carbon filter cloth can be used for making surgical face masks and medical face masks.

If you are interested in our activated carbon fiber and textiles, please contact us via

Difference Between Carbon and Activated Carbon