Activated Carbon also called activated charcoal or activated coal is a form of carbon that has been processed to make it extremely porous and thus to have a very large surface area available for adsorption or chemical reactions. The word activated in the name is sometimes replaced with active. Due to its high degree of micro porosity, just one gram of activated carbon has a surface area in excess of 500 m2, as determined typically by nitrogen gas adsorption. Sufficient activation for useful applications may come solely from the high surface area, though further chemical treatment often enhances the absorbing properties of the material. Activated Carbon is usually derived from charcoal. Activated carbon is carbon produced from carbonaceous source materials like nutshells, peat, wood, coir, lignite, coal and petroleum pitch. Activated carbons are complex products that are difficult to classify on the basis of their behaviour, surface characteristics and preparation methods. However, some broad classification is made for general purpose based on their physical characteristics. Under an electron microscope, the high surface-area structures of activated carbon are revealed. Individual particles are intensely convoluted and display various kinds of porosity; there may be many areas where flat surfaces of graphite-like material run parallel to each other, separated by only a few nanometers.
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