Granular Activated Carbon

Calgon Carbon created the first granular activated carbon (GAC) from bituminous coal in the 1940s and has staked a position of global industry leadership ever since.

About our Granular Activated Carbon (GAC)

80 years after its founding, Calgon Carbon remains on the cutting edge of innovation, offering an exceptional range of granulated activated carbon applications and reactivated carbon formulations engineered specifically for the purification of water, air, liquids and gases. Calgon Carbon is proud to provide products that help make pure water and clean air for a better world.

Granular activated carbon is defined as the activated carbon being retained on a 50-mesh sieve. Calgon Carbon produces GACs with a variety of materials, methods and degrees of activation to produce activated carbons designed to meet and exceed the demands of a wide array of applications.

From water treatment to gas phase applications, and from the purification of other aqueous and organic liquids to the treatment of cane sugar liquors and much more — Calgon Carbon offers a wide array of custom-engineered granular activated carbons for a broad range of manufacturing process and environmental applications.

Features & Benefits:

The adsorptive capacity of granular activated carbon (GAC) makes it ideal for removing a variety of contaminants from water, air, liquids and gases. GAC is also an environmentally responsible product that can be reactivated through thermal oxidation and used multiple times for the same application.

By varying manufacturing conditions, internal pore structures are created by imparting unique adsorption properties specific to each product type. The choice of product for a specific application will vary due to differing impurities and proprietary process conditions.

An industry leader in Granular Activated Carbon

As the world’s largest manufacturer of granular activated carbon, Calgon Carbon backs its products with comprehensive analytical support, including feasibility studies and cost evaluations, together with complete system design, service, and troubleshooting. You get the expertise of an industry leader in granular activated carbon backed by service you can trust.

Calgon Carbon brings unmatched expertise in developing granular activated carbon applications. That means whatever your granular activated carbon need, Calgon Carbon has a product engineered specifically to provide a better solution.


Basics of Activated Carbon



Used by governments and municipalities around the world to provide safe, clean drinking water.


Cost-effective solution for treatment of industrial waste discharges and effective in the removal of numerous contaminants from groundwater.


Remove contaminants from our air supply, such as toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at air emissions sources.

Mercury Removal

Superior adsorption properties for the purification of liquid natural gas.


Purification for liquid-phase applications in chemical and petroleum refining industries and for gasoline- vapor recovery equipment.


Purification and filtration in numerous life-saving personal protection applications, including respirators, gas mask filters, and first responder masks use.


Last line of defense for removing harmful contaminants from drinking water.


Remove impurities such as color and odor from food liquids, syrups, organic acids, amino acids, vitamins, beverage alcohols and glycerin.


Recover precious metals and liberate gold quickly and efficiently.


Purify many products in the pharmaceutical industry, including antibiotics, steroids, and vitamins.

What is Activated Carbon?

Activated carbon is a porous material that removes organic compounds from liquids and gases by a process known as “adsorption.” In adsorption, organic molecules contained in a liquid or gas are attracted and bound to the surface of the pores of the activated carbon as the liquid or gas is passed through.

Adsorption occurs on the internal surface of activated carbon, termed the adsorbent. During adsorption, liquids or gases pass through the highly porous structure of the activated carbon. The compound(s) to be removed, termed the adsorbate(s), diffuses to the surface of the adsorbent and is retained because of attractive forces.

The primary raw material used in the production of our activated carbons is bituminous coal that is crushed, sized and processed in low temperature bakers followed by high-temperature activation furnaces. Activation develops the pore structure of the carbon. Through adjustments in the activation process, differentiated pores for a particular purification application are developed.