What is activated charcoal ?

Activated charcoal is commonly used in both air and water filters. It is one of the most common filtration components in the industrial sector. It is very versatile and can hold both gas and liquid pollutants. It can notably be found in clean water filter jugs, cigarette filters, aquariums and anti-nuclear shelters.

It is a carbonaceous material that has been treated to increase its absorbent properties. Its very porous structure gives it a better capacity as a fixing and retention agent. Just one gram of activated charcoal can absorb pollutants present in a surface going from 400 to 2500m2. AIRVIA Medical uses 1280 grams of activated charcoal in the PRO 150 filter and 640 grams in the AERO 100.

What types of pollution are targeted by ionisation?

The activated charcoal filter usually plays a second line role. We start with collecting large particles (hair and dust) thanks to one or more prefilters.

The activated charcoal filters that we use possess a high density; as such they are capable of clearing the air of numerous chemical pollutants like ozone, benzene and other Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC). VOCs are a group of harmful volatile gases that mostly result from industrial activity ( organic solvents, cleansing agents, synthesising agent, etc). They contribute considerably to the degradation of the quality of air in our modern societies. Sprays, maintenance products and cosmetics, paints and solvents are the biggest culprits. Amongst the most notable VOCs that are captured by the activated charcoal filter are nitrogen oxide, CO2 and CO, formaldehyde, ethanol, butane, toluene, benzene and acetone.

Thanks to its high gas adsorption capacity, activated charcoal also fights against unpleasant odours efficiently. This is why some cheese boxes or vacuums use activated charcoal.

Activated charcoal filters also work against all kinds of smoke smells and can be used against passive smoking.

Efficiency factors of activated charcoal for air filtration

Efficiency of activated charcoal filters vary depending on numerous factors. The material that was used to make it, for one, its shape and density, the contact surface, etc.

AIRVIA Medical uses bamboo activated charcoal, a natural material that helps create a high quality filter. It is treated so as to eliminate impurities and increase its porosity. As with our other filters, our activated charcoal filter is cylindrical, which increases its contact surface and its volume. There are 1280 grams of activated charcoal in the filter of the l’AIRVIA PRO 150 and 640 grams in the AIRVIA AERO 100.

Please note that the relative humidity rate of the ambient air also impacts performance since activated charcoal acts against liquid pollutant as much as gas ones. As such, in a humid room, activated charcoal is going to act like a sponge and load itself with water. It is one of the reasons why AIRVIA Medical recommends using our appliances in an environment where humidity isn’t over 65%. If the humidity rate is higher than 65%, we recommend you use a dehumidifier.


It is easy to understand why activated charcoal is one of the most common filtration materials: it is versatile, with an easy-to-grasp way of working and a good shelf-life.

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