Heyl & Patterson Inc. will host participants of the 36th International Activated Carbon Conference at its pilot plant testing laboratory to demonstrate equipment it manufactures for the production of activated carbon. The tour is planned for 4pm on Thursday, September 17, 2015.
Activated carbon is a form of charcoal that has been treated with oxygen to open up millions of tiny pores between its carbon atoms. It is an excellent source of water filtration, and is made from carbon-rich source materials such as wood, bamboo, nutshells, peach pits, and coconut husks. The material is charred at high temperatures to produce a highly porous substance that attracts and holds organic chemicals inside it. It is used to remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as benzene and chlorine, as well as odors and colors, from water.
When carbon has been activated, a multitude of holes open up in its surface, resembling a honeycomb, and a teaspoon of the material has about the same surface area as an entire football field.
Heyl & Patterson engineers specialized machines called rotary calciners that produce activated carbon. A calciner is a high-temperature, indirectly-heated device in which the atmosphere and environment can be controlled, while volatile gases are captured and completely combusted.
“When water passes through a bed of activated carbon, many of the contaminants are chemically attracted to its honeycomb holes and stay inside them, pulling the impurities out of the water so that it is safer to drink.” said John Edelman, president and CEO of Heyl & Patterson. “For example, there was an explosion several years ago at a petrochemical plant in China that spilled benzene into a river that supplies drinking water to millions of people. Activated carbon was used to clean up the spill and purify the water.”
Heyl & Patterson’s laboratory facility is located in the Green Tree area of Pittsburgh, and has tested industrial processes since 1968.
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