Rotocarb is proud to be a leading producer of high quality Activated Carbons in South Africa. Through utilising a sustainable carbonaceous source, Macadamia Nut shells, we have developed a new range of Granular and Powder Activated Carbons. Our products assist multiple industries in achieving the health, safety and environmental regulatory standards in pursuit of global sustainability and technological development. Rotocarb, with its autogenous plant and innovative technology, is leading the way with an energy efficient and environmentally friendly manufacturing process, producing proudly South African made Activated Carbons. 

A Quick AC Guide

What is Activated Carbon

Activated Carbon is a natural material rich in carbon whereby the pores of the charred material have been opened, increasing the carbons surface area, through a steam or chemical activation process. The common carbon-rich sources used for the manufacturing of Activated Carbon are coal, wood and coconut shells. Activated Carbon is characterised by its high porosity and adsorptive capabilities. Through adsorption, Activated Carbon can effectively remove a range of contaminants and impurities from liquid and air streams.

How It Works

Activated Carbon is utilised for its adsorption capabilities. Adsorption can be defined as the attraction or adhesion of atoms, ions or molecules to a surface. Through weak Van der Waal forces, molecules are attracted to the surface area of the porous Activated Carbon and captured. The pore sizes present in the Activated Carbon must be larger than the contaminants trying to be removed from the solution and hence this a determining factor in selecting the correct Activated Carbon for the application. The pore diameters are classified into three categories and can been seen below:

Pore Size Nanometres (nm)
Micro 2 <
Meso 2 - 50
Macro 50 >

All carbons tend to have a combination of micro, meso and macro pores with one being more present than the others. The raw material used to make the Activated Carbon is the most influential factor in creating the pore size distribution. This ultimately characterises the sizes of particles that the Activated Carbon can effectively adsorb.

Where It's Used

Well, where isn’t it used? From air and water purification, health and beauty all the way through to mineral extraction and colour removal. The adsorption capabilities of Activated Carbon see to it being used in thousands of applications for several different industries.

By the time you’ve finished breakfast and are ready to head out you’ve taken part in the consumption of Activated Carbon several times without ever seeing it. Some of the chemicals in your shampoo and toothpaste were probably purified with Activated Carbon during productrion. Similarly, the water used in your morning cup of tea or coffee would have been treated with Activated Carbon through a filter system to remove various taste, odour and harmful contaminants, and that bright white sweetener you add to your coffee for a morning boost would have been de-coloured with the help of Activated Carbon.

Activated Carbon and its strong adsorption abilities make it one of the most useful materials to mankind. We hardly see it yet alone know about, but it continues to play a pivotal role in the purification of so many applications.