Boil Carbon to reuse?
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Boil Carbon to reuse?

This is a discussion on Boil Carbon to reuse? within the Freshwater Aquarium Equipment forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Ok, going beyond that some of you don't like to use carbon. I heard that if you boil carbon every other month it is ...

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Boil Carbon to reuse?
Old 11-26-2007, 09:31 AM   #1
 
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Boil Carbon to reuse?

Ok, going beyond that some of you don't like to use carbon. I heard that if you boil carbon every other month it is just like putting new carbon back in the filter. Is this true? Can I keep using the same carbon if I boil it periodically?
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Old 11-26-2007, 11:55 AM   #2
 
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I would imagine there has to be a way to "reactivate" the carbon so it works again. The way I have seen to do it is to bake it in the oven for hours on end at very low temps. Boiling it should remove some of the stuff from the carbon but I am not sure if a single boil session would remove even a majority of the nasties.

As for using carbon, there are a lot of people that swear by it. And it is only actually effective for about 3 weeks unless your tanks are very understocked and your water is extremely clean and soft. No chlorine, chloramine, heavy metals, odors nor anything else.

Just be careful whatever you do with activated carbon. I do not know the science behind it nor much about it but I have heard you can relase carbon dioxide/monoxide in massive amounts if you heat it wrong or too hot. How much truth there is too it I don't know but better to know.
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Old 11-29-2007, 12:58 PM   #3
 
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ok i am going off memory i am sure ill find it sooner or later but the carbon has to heat up very hot i think 450+ with pumped in o2 to reactivate that carbon.
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Old 08-29-2012, 03:37 PM   #4
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I donít think there is much difference between activated carbon and some types of coal. I would not heat activated carbon or supply any form oxygen to re Ė activate used carbon.
Try washing the used carbon with water or maybe hit the carbon with a hammer and break it smaller sounds safer and more productive to me.

Activated Carbon - The Free Freshwater and Saltwater Aquarium Encyclopedia Anyone Can Edit - The Aquarium Wiki
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Old 08-29-2012, 04:34 PM   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgamer20o0 View Post
ok i am going off memory i am sure ill find it sooner or later but the carbon has to heat up very hot i think 450+ with pumped in o2 to reactivate that carbon.
Almost. It's got to be heated up to 900 degrees in an oxygen free environment.
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Old 09-02-2012, 07:24 AM   #6
 
NO, you can't regenerate activated carbon. You can extend it's use life slightly by briskly rubbing it together (in a pouch) while rinsing to expose new surface areas.

Contrary to what some believe, activated carbon does not release impurities it has adsorbed, however, once it has adsorbed all the impurities that it can, it becomes useless for that purpose in the filter.

The effective use life for carbon varies relative to the amount of carbon and the condition of the water. A good pouch of carbon placed in a neglected tank could reach capacity in a couple of days. A sprinkle of carbon inside a filter cartridge pad could last a couple of hours! If there's a fair volume of carbon placed in a fairly clean tank, it could remain effective for up to a month.
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Old 09-02-2012, 08:32 AM   #7
 
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I just noticed that this thread goes back to 2007

It's still useful information so once in a while it's good to revive these old ones that didn't get much activity initially.

Last edited by Romad; 09-02-2012 at 08:34 AM..
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Old 09-03-2012, 07:55 AM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbeysDad View Post
NO, you can't regenerate activated carbon. You can extend it's use life slightly by briskly rubbing it together (in a pouch) while rinsing to expose new surface areas.

Contrary to what some believe, activated carbon does not release impurities it has adsorbed, however, once it has adsorbed all the impurities that it can, it becomes useless for that purpose in the filter. .
You, as in the consumer, cannot refresh the carbon because we do not have the means to do so, but YES it can be done, as I explained on my previous post.

Yes, carbon DOES release things it has adsorbed back into the water. It is not a true chemical reaction that takes place. Carbon works via the Van der Wals force. Things that have an affinity for the carbon are drawn into it and are locked up at a receptor site. Once the receptor sites are full, new things with a higher affinity will knock out things with a lower affinity, which are then released back into the water. Some people, particularly in the discus community, think that carbon can spontaneously release everything, and that is just flat out wrong as it takes some very extreme conditions to do so.

I have two chemists in the family that I have talked with at length. That is the science of AC.
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Old 09-04-2012, 09:35 AM   #9
 
Jaysee, I merely reported what experts have documented. I believe I wrote "No, YOU can't regenerate activated carbon."... Meaning the original poster, not that it couldn't be done in a high temperature vacuum chamber.
I believe that the adsorbtion by activated carbon does not likely support your theory of element replacement. It seems more likely that once adsorbtion has reached capacity, there is no surface capable of entrapping any other elements, causing previously trapped elements to be released. Again, no disrespect to your family, but I merely reported what many experts have documented in several different publications.
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:14 AM   #10
 
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It's not my theory. Which publications do you speak of?
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