09-03-2012, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by AbbeysDad
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.