Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Chloramine Removal With Catalytic Carbon

Is your carbon under attack? Have you chosen the correct carbon for chloramine removal? What carbon makes the most effective final barrier against chloramines?

Why use chloramination?Let's face it everyone, they're not making any more fresh water on this planet. Our fresh water is under continuous attack from man made substances and biological bad guys. To combat these contaminates, our municipalities are continually challenged to find the "right" treatment. For instance, good old chlorine was effective to combat bacteria and most disease. However, as our water systems with miles of pipe kept growing, chlorine's "staying power" was found to be less effective at the end of the line. And worse yet, chlorine would complex with organic matter (pipe sludge) or natural algae, to create disinfection by-products (THM's). Enter Chloramine. Some science guru dreamt up the idea that chlorine was more effective if they mixed in some Ammonia. Yes, ammonia. Chlorine+Ammonia = Chloramine

As you might imagine, chloramine wasn't the magic bullet bio fighting miracle. Needless to say, Chloramine, is better off in the street pipes than in you or in your ingredients. Ok? Now what? Since the invention of chlorine, man used activated carbon as the final barrier to remove it. Most activated carbon is manufactured from coal or coconut shells. Chloramine removal turned out to be a much trickier challenge. Here's why: Most drinking water is at pH 7 or above. At pH 7 chloramine forms into a monochloramine. Monochloramines are highly stable by nature making them very difficult to remove with traditional activated carbons. Calgon discovered if you manufacture carbon with catalytic functionality, it will remove the chloramine. Here's how: traditional carbon would do an excellent job of removing the chlorine portion, but leave a significant amount of ammonia. Catalytic enhancements to traditional carbon allowed the carbon to retain more oxygen. The oxygen acted as the needed catalyst to breakdown the ammonia. Simple 'eh?

Coconut vs Coal based carbon
YES you have a choice. This is America. It comes down to this: Our real world results have confirmed the coconut shell based catalytic carbons the clear winner.

A comparison between coconut and coal chloramine made by Jacobi CZ-MCA Technical Paper
Coconut vs Coal Chloramine Removal Comparison
from Jacobi CX-MCA Technical Paper
 I speculate that coconut shell carbons have a micro-pure structure that allows them to retain more oxygen, thus be more catalytic. Also, scientific proof tells us that the coconut shell carbon is physically harder than coal carbons. When dechlorinating, carbon gives up a structural molecule. Coconut shell's strength gives it an advantage in the long run.

For Additional Information:
If you are really into the technical wizardry, read what the really smart folks wrote:
Technical Bulletin for Jacobi Aquasorb CX-MCA Catalytic Coconut Carbon
Technical Paper "Treatment for Monochloramine Using Activated Carbon" by Jacobi Carbon

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