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Thread: making activated charcoal

  1. #1 making activated charcoal 
    New Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Im wanting to know how one would go about activating chacoal in the event of the apocalypse(not that i believe it will happen) and without hard to get chemicals.

    I understand how to make basic charcoal by heating it without air in some kind of metal container, but does the charcoal need to be purified after? if so how is this done? and how active is it already?

    then i understand u can use steam between 900-1100 degrees Celsius. how possible would it be to get a kiln this hot if u also used charcoal to heat it?

    basically ive hit a dead end on a really thorough search and also been a little confused to.

    any input will be very greatfull!

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  3. #2  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    New Zealand
    Activated charcoal is simply the carbon with all volatiles driven out of it. This happens when making charcoal, but is reversed when it absorbs material from the air round it. So activated charcoal, in its most basic form, is really just fresh charcoal.

    Of course, it helps if the temperature making charcoal is high, and some suction is provided. Commercially, making activated charcoal has its secrets. But if you are looking to a 'primitive' situation, making it in inferior form is not difficult.

    To improve the basic form, you would grind it to dust, and then compact it into a brick. This creates a larger surface area for absorption.

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