Carbon is known for its ability to eliminate odors due to its reaction with particles. This process is called adsorption, which causes gas molecules to stick to the carbon filter and remain trapped. But do all people need carbon filters? Purification companies may try to convince people to buy carbon filters, but do they really need them? The answer is yes. Carbon filters are effective in capturing gas pollutants, but not particulate pollution.
To test this, Anna conducted a regular test in a room with only a carbon filter. Activated carbon is usually charged positively and designed to attract negatively charged contaminants in the air. When activated with potassium permanganate, the mesh of carbon atoms increases the surface area of the filter, allowing contaminants to adhere after contact. Carbon air filters have been used for centuries and are considered one of the oldest methods of water purification.
Let's take a closer look at how these small filters can improve air quality.Cleaning methods such as vacuuming or washing the filter with water are recommended. Nowadays, many air purifiers have incorporated carbon technology into their systems. German researchers at Stiftung Warentest* tested air purifiers with filters (Philips, Dyson, Soehnle, Rowenta) and found that activated carbons capture very little formaldehyde. An activated carbon air filter may be a good short-term solution, but in the long run, Molekule could be a better option. Contaminated air enters the filtration system and passes through the activated carbon, which adsorbs and leaves the filter purified.
Adsorption is a process in which organic compounds in air or water chemically react with activated carbon, causing them to stick to the filter. This means that the filter can capture fine particles and allergens in the air, such as bacteria, mold, dust mites and pollen. Odors and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are too small to be captured by a normal air filter. I also conducted tests with an IQ Air Health Pro Plus (with the filters removed) and (with the pre-filter only as additional control tests). Activated carbon air filters can remove some gaseous compounds from the air, but not all of them.
Carbon filters are not designed for particulate removal and are ineffective when it comes to capturing these smaller particles. While this air purification technology works to trap and collect particles from the air, it can also produce potentially hazardous by-products.