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Reactivating Carbon

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  • smudge311065
    I hate to be the one to spoil people s enthusiam about reactivating activated carbon, but here goes.... Whilst its true carbon is activated by contact with
    Message 1 of 8 , Jun 26, 2002
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      I hate to be the one to spoil people's enthusiam about reactivating
      activated carbon, but here goes....

      Whilst its true carbon is activated by contact with steam, don't
      think you can do it yourself while you're boiling the jug for a
      coffee:

      GRANULATED CARBON ACTIVATION
      Most Carbon is activated using steam. Activation is also accomplished
      using chemicals. Wood based carbons steam activation involves a two
      step process, carbonization and activation. Carbonization occurs in
      an oxygen deficient environment at high temperatures, 700 degree
      Celsius. Activation of carbon occurs by using steam where temperature
      of the carbon is raised to 1800 degrees.

      REACTIVATED CARBON
      Reactivating carbon is a simple process where the spent carbon is
      thermally reactivated . Reactivation occurs a temperatures between
      1400-1700°F where ether volatile organics or oxidized off forming CO2
      and water. The non volatile organic compounds are carbonized to form
      char. In the final phase of the process steam is used to reactivate
      the carbon. Approximately 80-90% by dry weight of the carbon is
      recovered in this process. The remainder is made up with virgin
      carbon. Reactivated carbon performs exactly the same in adsorptive
      capabilities as virgin carbon.

      Information courtesy of www.onionenterprises.com

      If you want to save money on activated carbon buy it in bulk from a
      chemical supplier. I got 4kg for a little over AU$100. Just remember
      to keep it in a sealed container as its activity is reduced by
      contact with anything, including air.

      Smudge
    • Pete Sayers
      Mike, while i agree with you that cleaning our carbon at home is possible and practicle,would this be more for those folk, who thru no fault of their own, live
      Message 2 of 8 , Jun 26, 2002
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        Mike, while i agree with you that cleaning our carbon at home is possible and practicle,would this be more for those folk, who thru no fault of their own, live in a country governed by some narrow minds, and so do not have an easily sourced supply ie from their local Homebrew Retailer?We here in New Zealand dont suffer from that illogical Legislation, so would you encourage distillers in New Zealand to follow this technique.The cost per brew is minimal, and the quality is pretty much guarranteed.I do not doubt your knowledge in any way shape or form,(rather i am in awe), i am merely putting in a shot for us lucky retailers in New Zealand.
        Pete Sayers
        The Brewers Barn
        Invercargill
        New Zealand
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Thursday, June 27, 2002 1:40 PM
        Subject: Re: [Distillers] Reactivating Carbon

        Hi Smudge!
        I think you will find that the extreme heat procedures you read about concerning commercial reactivation of carbon are not necessary in a hobby situation.  I regularly treat my carbon after use, and find that it serves me very well.  Rather than calling it "reactivation", it is perhaps better to describe the process as "cleaning", as "activation" really means treating raw carbon so that it has a suitable internal structure with a very large surface.
        Try this:
        Wash used carbon in plenty of running water to get rid of all external rubbish.  I do this simply by rinsing under a tap with the carbon in a sieve.  Then boil it in an open pan of water for around quarter of an hour.  This will get rid of the bulk of the volatiles.  If you want to do a really thorough wash, carry on by boiling it up in an ordinary pressure cooker for 10 minutes.  This will get rid of even more than open air boiling.
        Finally, strain off all the carbon and rinse under a tap for a minute, then spread it all out on a wide baking tray covered in ordinary baking foil (saves rusting the tray!).  Shove that in the kitchen oven to dry slowly at around 160C/320F, making sure that you periodically open the oven door to vent the smelly steam that comes off.  It takes time to drive all the water off, but  organic molecules still held inside the carbon will come off with the steam quite readily at this low temperature.  Don't try heating at the highest temperature your oven is capable of .. not only is it unnecessary, you will also run the risk of ending up with a pile of gray ash!
        Try it.  I think you will find that it's more than adequate.
        Mike Nixon
        .

        Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
      • Mike Nixon
        Hi Smudge! I think you will find that the extreme heat procedures you read about concerning commercial reactivation of carbon are not necessary in a hobby
        Message 3 of 8 , Jun 26, 2002
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          Hi Smudge!
          I think you will find that the extreme heat procedures you read about concerning commercial reactivation of carbon are not necessary in a hobby situation.  I regularly treat my carbon after use, and find that it serves me very well.  Rather than calling it "reactivation", it is perhaps better to describe the process as "cleaning", as "activation" really means treating raw carbon so that it has a suitable internal structure with a very large surface.
          Try this:
          Wash used carbon in plenty of running water to get rid of all external rubbish.  I do this simply by rinsing under a tap with the carbon in a sieve.  Then boil it in an open pan of water for around quarter of an hour.  This will get rid of the bulk of the volatiles.  If you want to do a really thorough wash, carry on by boiling it up in an ordinary pressure cooker for 10 minutes.  This will get rid of even more than open air boiling.
          Finally, strain off all the carbon and rinse under a tap for a minute, then spread it all out on a wide baking tray covered in ordinary baking foil (saves rusting the tray!).  Shove that in the kitchen oven to dry slowly at around 160C/320F, making sure that you periodically open the oven door to vent the smelly steam that comes off.  It takes time to drive all the water off, but  organic molecules still held inside the carbon will come off with the steam quite readily at this low temperature.  Don't try heating at the highest temperature your oven is capable of .. not only is it unnecessary, you will also run the risk of ending up with a pile of gray ash!
          Try it.  I think you will find that it's more than adequate.
          Mike Nixon
          .
        • G&N
          I get all my carbon for free and still i reuse my carbon by putting it in the oven at 250C for an hour ...with great results ...why not recycle something that
          Message 4 of 8 , Jun 27, 2002
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            I get all my carbon for free and still i reuse my carbon by putting it in the oven at 250C for an hour ...with great results ...why not recycle something that can be used to its potential i recon
            ----- Original Message -----
            Sent: Thursday, June 27, 2002 9:40 AM
            Subject: Re: [Distillers] Reactivating Carbon

            Hi Smudge!
            I think you will find that the extreme heat procedures you read about concerning commercial reactivation of carbon are not necessary in a hobby situation.  I regularly treat my carbon after use, and find that it serves me very well.  Rather than calling it "reactivation", it is perhaps better to describe the process as "cleaning", as "activation" really means treating raw carbon so that it has a suitable internal structure with a very large surface.
            Try this:
            Wash used carbon in plenty of running water to get rid of all external rubbish.  I do this simply by rinsing under a tap with the carbon in a sieve.  Then boil it in an open pan of water for around quarter of an hour.  This will get rid of the bulk of the volatiles.  If you want to do a really thorough wash, carry on by boiling it up in an ordinary pressure cooker for 10 minutes.  This will get rid of even more than open air boiling.
            Finally, strain off all the carbon and rinse under a tap for a minute, then spread it all out on a wide baking tray covered in ordinary baking foil (saves rusting the tray!).  Shove that in the kitchen oven to dry slowly at around 160C/320F, making sure that you periodically open the oven door to vent the smelly steam that comes off.  It takes time to drive all the water off, but  organic molecules still held inside the carbon will come off with the steam quite readily at this low temperature.  Don't try heating at the highest temperature your oven is capable of .. not only is it unnecessary, you will also run the risk of ending up with a pile of gray ash!
            Try it.  I think you will find that it's more than adequate.
            Mike Nixon
            .

            Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
          • wromgbutton
            ... I buy my carbon from a water filter shop at $5 per litre. They don t sell it buy weight but $20 buys 2 big bags. I asked for the tech sheet on it... .45 to
            Message 5 of 8 , Jul 1 10:50 PM
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              --- In Distillers@y..., "smudge311065" <smudge@b...> wrote:
              > If you want to save money on activated carbon buy it in bulk from a
              > chemical supplier. I got 4kg for a little over AU$100. Just remember
              > to keep it in a sealed container as its activity is reduced by
              > contact with anything, including air.
              >
              > Smudge

              I buy my carbon from a water filter shop at $5 per litre. They don't
              sell it buy weight but $20 buys 2 big bags.
              I asked for the tech sheet on it...
              .45 to .85 mm particle size of coconut shell activated charcoal
              Cheap and works a treat.

              I built a copper filter tube approx 650mm x 76mm which hold approx 2.2
              litres of carbon. It is bottom fed so removing all air is easy. Works
              fine. Actually it's terrific. All smells just go.

              Once I finish, I run a 1/2 inch hose from my boiler to the top of the
              filter and back steam it for a couple of hours. I don't find much back
              pressure as long as I don't go under a 1/2 inch feed but be carefull
              as steam will peel your skin of.
              The stink is unbeleivable and the only time I worry about the
              neighbours.

              Regards Ed
            • pactumuk
              Hello Mike I saved your answer to Smudge for later use ......but now comes the crunch. I have the 40 % I have the carbon too but do I treat this in some way
              Message 6 of 8 , Aug 4, 2002
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                Hello Mike
                I saved your answer to Smudge for later use ......but now comes the
                crunch.
                I have the 40 % I have the carbon too but do I treat this in some way
                before using it ?
                Gert says wash it etc etc but is this necessary ?
                Thanks
                pactumuk


                --- In Distillers@y..., "Mike Nixon" <mike@s...> wrote:
                > Hi Smudge!
                > I think you will find that the extreme heat procedures you read
                about
                > concerning commercial reactivation of carbon are not necessary in a
                hobby
                > situation. I regularly treat my carbon after use, and find that it
                serves
                > me very well. Rather than calling it "reactivation", it is perhaps
                better
                > to describe the process as "cleaning", as "activation" really means
                treating
                > raw carbon so that it has a suitable internal structure with a very
                large
                > surface.
                > Try this:
                > Wash used carbon in plenty of running water to get rid of all
                external
                > rubbish. I do this simply by rinsing under a tap with the carbon
                in a
                > sieve. Then boil it in an open pan of water for around quarter of
                an hour.
                > This will get rid of the bulk of the volatiles. If you want to do
                a really
                > thorough wash, carry on by boiling it up in an ordinary pressure
                cooker for
                > 10 minutes. This will get rid of even more than open air boiling.
                > Finally, strain off all the carbon and rinse under a tap for a
                minute, then
                > spread it all out on a wide baking tray covered in ordinary baking
                foil
                > (saves rusting the tray!). Shove that in the kitchen oven to dry
                slowly at
                > around 160C/320F, making sure that you periodically open the oven
                door to
                > vent the smelly steam that comes off. It takes time to drive all
                the water
                > off, but organic molecules still held inside the carbon will come
                off with
                > the steam quite readily at this low temperature. Don't try heating
                at the
                > highest temperature your oven is capable of .. not only is it
                unnecessary,
                > you will also run the risk of ending up with a pile of gray ash!
                > Try it. I think you will find that it's more than adequate.
                > Mike Nixon
                > .
              • Mike Nixon
                pactumuk wrote: Subject: [Distillers] Re: Mike .... Reactivating Carbon Hello Mike I saved your answer to Smudge for later use (re. cleaning used carbon)
                Message 7 of 8 , Aug 4, 2002
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                  pactumuk wrote:
                  Subject: [Distillers] Re: Mike .... Reactivating Carbon

                  Hello Mike
                  I saved your answer to Smudge for later use (re. cleaning used carbon)
                  ......but now comes the crunch. I have the 40 % I have the carbon too but do
                  I treat this in some way before using it ? Gert says wash it etc etc but is
                  this necessary ?
                  Thanks
                  pactumuk
                  ----------------------------------------
                  Morning!

                  If you are asking whether new carbon should be washed first before use, the
                  answer is yes. Some rather nasty chemicals are used in many processes to
                  produce activated carbon, and although some manufacturers take care to wash
                  these out thoroughly before sale, unfortunately others do not. Without
                  knowing who made the stuff (no reflection on retailers!), it is therefore
                  sensible to wash all new carbon before use, as you would wash anything new
                  that will be in contact with food or beverages. You don't need to go
                  overboard ... this is not like getting rid of congeners adsorbed inside used
                  carbon. A simple good rinsing should suffice.

                  Cheers!
                  Mike
                • pactumuk
                  Mike It is from Prestige, the man himself, but I ll wash it just the same. Cheers again pactumuk ... carbon) ... too but do ... etc but is ... use, the ...
                  Message 8 of 8 , Aug 4, 2002
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                    Mike

                    It is from Prestige, the man himself, but I'll wash it just the same.
                    Cheers again
                    pactumuk

                    --- In Distillers@y..., "Mike Nixon" <mike@s...> wrote:
                    > pactumuk wrote:
                    > Subject: [Distillers] Re: Mike .... Reactivating Carbon
                    >
                    > Hello Mike
                    > I saved your answer to Smudge for later use (re. cleaning used
                    carbon)
                    > ......but now comes the crunch. I have the 40 % I have the carbon
                    too but do
                    > I treat this in some way before using it ? Gert says wash it etc
                    etc but is
                    > this necessary ?
                    > Thanks
                    > pactumuk
                    > ----------------------------------------
                    > Morning!
                    >
                    > If you are asking whether new carbon should be washed first before
                    use, the
                    > answer is yes. Some rather nasty chemicals are used in many
                    processes to
                    > produce activated carbon, and although some manufacturers take care
                    to wash
                    > these out thoroughly before sale, unfortunately others do not.
                    Without
                    > knowing who made the stuff (no reflection on retailers!), it is
                    therefore
                    > sensible to wash all new carbon before use, as you would wash
                    anything new
                    > that will be in contact with food or beverages. You don't need to
                    go
                    > overboard ... this is not like getting rid of congeners adsorbed
                    inside used
                    > carbon. A simple good rinsing should suffice.
                    >
                    > Cheers!
                    > Mike
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