Commercial activated carbon products are produced from organic materials that are rich in carbon, particularly coal, lignite, wood, nut shells, peat, pitches, and cokes. The choice of precursor is largely dependent on its availability, cost, and purity, but the manufacturing process and intended application of the product are also important considerations. Manufacturing processes fall into two categories, thermal activation and chemical activation. The effective porosity of activated carbon produced by thermal activation is the result of gasification of the carbon at relatively high temperatures (20), but the porosity of chemically activated products is generally created by chemical dehydration reactions occurring at significantly lower temperatures (1,21).
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