Analytics by CarboTech: state-of-the art analytical tools for accurate results

As a leading supplier of activated carbon, CarboTech has for the past 60 years been among the technology drivers in the development of activated carbons and the determination of their properties. In its modern lab, the company performs analytics, using the latest methods and instruments. All analyses are performed by a team of highly experienced specialists who are able to answer all your questions.

  • Are you unsure which activated carbon product your company is currently using?
  • Do you wonder whether you have been supplied with the product you paid for?
  • Does your activated carbon not perform as well as it should, and are you unsure why that is?
  • Would you like to know more about the state of the activated carbon in your plant?

Then please contact us!
Our specialists will be delighted to advice you on the best analytical methods to answer your questions.

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  1. Tapped density
  2. Apparent density
  3. Ash content
  4. Moisture content (oven drying)
  5. Water content (Karl Fischer titration)
  6. Volatile matter content
  7. Flash point
  8. Adsorption isotherms of benzene p/ps 0.1/0.9 (calculated from cyclohexane adsorption)
  9. BET surface area (multiple or single point BET)
  10. Iodine number
  11. Methylene blue value
  12. CTC activity (calculated from butane adsorption)
  13. Butane activity
  14. pH
  15. Water-soluble content
  16. Acid-soluble content
  17. ICP elements
  18. XRF analysis
  19. Impact hardness
  20. Abrasion strength
  21. Ball pan hardness
  22. Particle size analysis
  23. Sieve analysis
  24. Isotherms of CSB
  25. AOX content
  26. Assessment of adsorption properties and mechanical state of spent activated carbon, including report


1. Tapped density

Parameter Unit Method
Tapped density [g/l] EN ISO 787-11

The tapped density refers to the density of a powder after a specified compaction process under standardised conditions.

 

 

2. Apparent density

Parameter Unit Method
Apparent density [g/l] ASTM D2854

The apparent density of a granular product is determined by dropping a sample from a vibrating conveyor into a standard cylinder. The density is then calculated from the measured volume and mass of the sample.

 

 

3. Ash content

Parameter Unit Method
Ash content [%] ASTM D2866

The ash content is given in w/w percent and indicates the mineral content of the activated carbon. To determine the ash content, a sample is combusted at 650°C in a muffle furnace.

 

 

4. Moisture content (oven drying)

Parameter Unit Method
Moisture content (oven drying) [%] ASTM D2867

The moisture content is determined by drying a sample at 150°C in an oven.

 

 

5. Water content (Karl Fischer titration)

Parameter Unit Method
Water content (Karl Fischer titration) [%] Karl Fischer titration

Karl Fischer titration is a titration method in analytical chemistry that uses coulometric titration to determine trace amounts of water in a sample.

 

 

6. Volatile matter content

Parameter Unit Method
Volatile matter content [%] CEFIC

To determine the volatile matter content, a sample is heated for 7 minutes to 900°C, whereby the moisture content is taken into account.

 

 

7. Flash point

Parameter Unit Method
Flash point [°C] CT

To determine the flash point, a sample is gradually heated along a linear curve in a hot air jet. The flash point of the sample is reached the moment there is a temperature difference of >15.0°C/min.

 

 

8. Adsorption isotherms of benzene p/ps 0.1/0.9 (calculated from cyclohexane adsorption)

Parameter Unit Method
Adsorption isotherms of benzene p/ps 0.1/0.9 (calculated from cyclohexane adsorption) [%] CT

This parameter is an indicator for the adsorption capacity of the activated carbon.

 

 

9. BET surface area (single point)

Parameter Unit Method
BET surface area (single point) [m²/g] DIN ISO 9277

Determination of the specific surface area of activated carbon by nitrogen gas adsorption based on the BET method.

 

 

10. Iodine number

Parameter Unit Method
Iodine number [mgI2/gAC] ASTM D 4607

The iodine number is an indicator of the porosity of an activated carbon.
The iodine number corresponds to the mass of iodine in mg that is adsorbed by 1 g of activated carbon in an aqueous solution.

 

 

11. Methylene blue value

Parameter Unit Method
Methylene blue value [g/100g] CT

The methylene blue number is a useful indicator to evaluate the adsorptive capacity of molecules that are similar in size to those of methylene blue, and to determine the decolorizing capacity of activated carbon.

 

 

12. CTC activity (calculated from butane adsorption)

Parameter Unit Method
CTC activity (calculated from butane adsorption) [%] ASTM D 3460

The carbon tetrachloride activity is the ratio (in percent) of the weight of CCl4 adsorbed by an activated carbon sample. It indicates the activation level of the material.
As carbon tetrachloride is highly toxic and possibly carcinogenic, the CTC activity is determined indirectly by measuring the butane activity.

 

 

Butane activity

Parameter Unit Method
Butane activity [%] ASTM D5742

The butane activity is a measure of the activation level of activated carbon. In this test, an activated carbon sample is saturated with butane under specified conditions.

 

14. pH

Parameter Unit Method
pH CEFIC

The chemically active surface groups and the inorganic components of activated carbon can change the pH of liquids. This test is used to determine this effect. The pH is measured after extraction of the activated carbon with boiling water.

 

15. Water-soluble content

Parameter Unit Method
Water-soluble content [%] ASTM D5029

To determine the content of water solubles, an aqueous extract of the sample is produced and dried to constant weight. The parameter indicates the amount of water solubles contained in the activated carbon.

 

16. Acid-soluble content

Parameter Unit Method
Acid-soluble content [%] CEFIC

To determine the content of acid solubles, a hydrochloric extract of the sample is produced and dried to constant weight.
The acid-soluble content is an indicator for the purity of the activated carbon.

 

17. ICP elements

Parameter Unit Method
ICP elements [%] CT

For this test, the activated carbon sample is first digested and then analysed by ICP-OES for specific elements.

 

18. XRF analysis

Parameter Unit Method
XRF analysis [%] CT

XRF analysis is used to determine the elements contained in activated carbon without prior digestion.

 

19. Impact hardness

Parameter Unit Method
Impact hardness [%>0.5mm] CT

To determine the impact hardness, a sample of a known mass is dropped from a specific height. Through sieving, the share of particles greater than 0.5 mm is determined. This value corresponds to the impact hardness in percentage.

 

20. Abrasion strength

Parameter Unit Method
Abrasion strength [%>0.5mm] CT

The abrasion strength is determined with the help of a vibratory grinding mill. Through sieving, the share of particles greater than 0.5 mm is determined. This value is the abrasion strength in percentage.

 

21. Ball pan hardness

Parameter Unit Method
Ball pan hardness [%] ASTM D 3802

An activated carbon sample is treated mechanically by a specific number of steel balls of a known diameter over a predefined period of time in a sieve shaker to determine its degradation stability.

 

22. Particle size analysis

Parameter Unit Method
Particle size analysis [%] Laser diffraction

The grain size distribution of a pulverised sample is determined by means of laser diffraction.

 

23. Sieve analysis

Parameter Unit Method
Sieve analysis [%] DIN ISO 2395

Standard sieves are used to mechanically separate the sample by particle size. The sieved fractions are weighed and the results are compiled in a table.

 

24. Isotherms of CSB

Parameter Unit Method
Isotherms of CSB mg O2/l CT

Isotherms of CSB materials are used to determine the adsorption capacity of activated carbon for the reduction of the CSB content in wastewater.

 

25. AOX content

Parameter Unit Method
AOX content mg/g CT

Potentiometric titration is used to measure the AOX content of saturated activated carbon in order to assess its reactivatability.

 

26. Assessment of adsorption properties and mechanical state of spent activated carbon, including report

Parameter Unit Method
Assessment of adsorption properties and mechanical state of spent activated carbon, including report ./. ./.