Activated Charcoal

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activated charcoal

[′ak·tə‚vād·əd ′char‚kōl]
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Activated Charcoal


or active carbon, obtained from fossil or wood carbon by the removal of resinous substances and the creation of a branching network of pores. With its highly developed surface, activated charcoal adsorbs many different substances. (Hydrocarbons and their derivatives are readily adsorbed; alcohol, ammonia, water, and other polar substances less readily.) Very fine-pored activated charcoal is obtained through thermal decomposition (carbonization without available air) of certain polymers. Pore diameter varies from 10 Å(with specific surface up to 1,000 m2/g) to 1,000 Å (specific surface of about 1 m2/g). Fine-pored activated charcoals adsorb readily, even in the presence of low concentrations and low partial vapor pressures. The phenomenon of capillary condensation is characteristic of large-pored activated charcoals.

Activated charcoals are used in antigas equipment as adsorbents and carriers of catalytic and chemisorption-active additives, in industry for the recovery of valuable organic solvents and for the removal of organic impurities from water, in high-vacuum technology to create sorption pumps, and in medicine for the absorption of harmful substances from the gastrointestinal tract, especially in connection with dyspepsia, meteorism, food poisoning, and poisoning by alkaloids and salts of the heavy metals. (For the latter purpose, activated charcoal is also prepared in the form of “Karbolen” tablets.)


Dubinin, M. M. Fiziko-khimicheskie osnovy sorbtsionnoi tekhniki, 2nd ed. Moscow-Leningrad, 1935.
Metody issledovaniia struktury vysokodispersnykh i poristykh tel, books 1–2. Moscow, 1953–58.
Aref’ev, S. V., and S. P. Maksimov. Zhurnal fizicheskoi khimii, vol. 41, 1967. Page 1565.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

activated charcoal, activated carbon

Charcoal obtained by carbonizing organic material, usually in the absence of air; usually in granular or powdered form; highly effective in adsorbing odors in air or in removing colors in solution.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Activated charcoal is a popular addition to most foods.
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The toothpaste derives much of its tooth-whitening power from activated charcoal.
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PREP: 15-20 minutes TIME TO BAKE: 15-20 minutes BAKES: 12 INGREDIENTS 900g plain flour 50g baking powder 180g butter, room temperature 100g caster sugar 100g treacle 3 tbsp activated charcoal 1 heaped tsp mixed spice 284ml buttermilk 4 medium eggs, plus 1 extra for brushing the scones Milk (if required) METHOD 1 Preheat the oven to 240C and prepare a baking tray with parchment.
Herein, we wish to report a convenient and eco-friendly procedure subjecting the immobilized sulfuric acid on activated charcoal as a highly efficient promoter for N-formylation of various amines in refluxing ethyl formate (54 AdegC) under net conditions (Scheme-1).
This study was designed to analyze the efficacy of four commercially available toxin binders viz: Activated Charcoal, Kaolin, Vitamin E + Selenium and Myco AD {hydrated sodium calcium aluminosilicate (HSCAS)} for detoxification of AFB1 (Casarin et al., 2005) in experimental quails, fed with 0.5mg/kg AFB1 added diet.
ACTIVATED charcoal is all the rage in foodie circles - but what's the fuss about?