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Justinian

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Dec 7, 2005
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888
Hey Sam.. You've got me interested now as to what you're proposing. We've been sending you links to places to get the activated charcoal and how to make it.. yet you're still asking for someone to say what kind of charcoal and where to buy it. I think I'm just lost here, but I think somebody might have done that for you in one of the posts. I also found several videos on youtube of people making their own filter and everything, but you said you weren't interested in that. I can be slow sometimes. You might just need to dumb it down for me to a 4th grade level what you are looking for.

IN RECENT NEWS: I found on a search through Amazon, a filtration device that says it uses 3 types of activated charcoal. I didn't realize there were more than one type when I was pounding through the internet yesterday.
 

Samstwitch

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2011
Messages
5,059
Hey Sam.. You've got me interested now as to what you're proposing. We've been sending you links to places to get the activated charcoal and how to make it.. yet you're still asking for someone to say what kind of charcoal and where to buy it. I think I'm just lost here, but I think somebody might have done that for you in one of the posts. I also found several videos on youtube of people making their own filter and everything, but you said you weren't interested in that. I can be slow sometimes. You might just need to dumb it down for me to a 4th grade level what you are looking for.


IN RECENT NEWS: I found on a search through Amazon, a filtration device that says it uses 3 types of activated charcoal. I didn't realize there were more than one type when I was pounding through the internet yesterday.

I've seen LOTS of videos and TV Reality Shows on different ways of filtering water with homemade devices. The one I'm interested in making uses layers of sand and charcoal in either a 5-Gallon Plastic Bucket or a 55-Gallon Plastic Barrel. On the TV Reality Show, The Colony...they used a very large container (55-Gallon drum) and very thick layers of charcoal. That's what I want to make!

However, in the videos and Reality Shows, when people make the water filters, they never specify what KIND of Charcoal to use or where to purchase it.

While investigating, I discovered that some people used "Activated Carbon" for filtering, but the people who specified 'Activated Carbon' were filtering in small containers (1-Gallon), using very small layers of Charcoal. I also discovered that Activated Carbon is sold in Pet Stores and online, but again, only in very small (and rather expensive) quantities.

So, that brings me to my posts here. I want to know exactly what kind of Charcoal can be used for the LARGE layers of water filtering, which are made in 55-gallon barrels. I highly doubt that people who make water filters in those large barrels use Activated Carbon purchased at Pet Supply Stores, because they are sold in small quantities for several dollars.

Therefore, there must be either another KIND of Charcoal used in water filtering, or another source that sells it in larger quantities for less cost. That is the information I'm searching for. If anyone has that information, please share. Thanks. :)

HERE IT IS! WATER FILTRATION STARTS AT 1:20 IN THE VIDEO. CAN ANYONE TELL ME WHAT KIND OF CHARCOAL IS USED IN THE WATER FILTRATION SYSTEM?

Inventions from The Colony - Part 1: Water Filtration and Ozone Purification



EXAMPLE OF VIDEO SPECIFYING 'ACTIVATED CARBON' (CHARCOAL): The video below shows what kind of Charcoal is used, 'Activated Carbon' which is available in Pet Stores, but the Water Filter is only a 1-Gallon container. Most of the other videos that specify Activated Carbon use even smaller containers when demonstrating. These are not helpful to me.

 

Octavusprime

Member
Joined
May 31, 2012
Messages
461
For a 55 gallon gallon barrel filter you are looking at 50 lbs of activated carbon. Buying online is not economical for a shipment that weight. I don't know where you live so I can't give you an exact store to go to. If I were you I would search for pond supply stores, large aquarium stores or water filtration specialists that will sell 50 lbs bags at bulk prices. Just my two cents.

Good luck in your search.
 

Samstwitch

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2011
Messages
5,059
For a 55 gallon gallon barrel filter you are looking at 50 lbs of activated carbon. Buying online is not economical for a shipment that weight. I don't know where you live so I can't give you an exact store to go to. If I were you I would search for pond supply stores, large aquarium stores or water filtration specialists that will sell 50 lbs bags at bulk prices. Just my two cents.

Good luck in your search.
That is a good idea! I will look into the possibility of it and let you know what I find. Thanks very much. I live in the country, so if it's sold in 50 lbs bags, it should be available here. :)
 

Octavusprime

Member
Joined
May 31, 2012
Messages
461
I know you are doing a diy water filter but this thing is amazing and could be hooked up to the output of any drum. No sand, no charcoal. This way you can use the space of the 55 gallon barrel for water storage.

In the long run this may be a cheaper investment also. When you factor in the price of activated carbon and possible sand if your buying it from home depot.

Sawyer Products
 

Justinian

Active Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2005
Messages
888
Ah.. I love that show. And I know exactly what you are talking about now for what you want to do. I know the one video I had seen, they made their own charcoal. I'm assuming that's due to the costs of trying to buy it. And one guy did mention in his video that you need to have the water tested before you drink it after your first filtering, because activated charcoal from certain types of wood can be harmful to you. I'm not sure the difference in activated and non activated charcoal, but seems to me in all the vid's I've watched so far that they just make charcoal and then grind it up into a powder, and this powder is what they are calling activated charcoal. So that makes me wonder if you can't just take regular charcoal briquettes (without lighter fluid of course) and grind it up and get the same thing?
 

Samstwitch

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Joined
Oct 29, 2011
Messages
5,059
...I've watched so far that they just make charcoal and then grind it up into a powder, and this powder is what they are calling activated charcoal. So that makes me wonder if you can't just take regular charcoal briquettes (without lighter fluid of course) and grind it up and get the same thing?

That is exactly what I've been trying to find out! Can we use regular Charcoal Briquetts that have no lighter fluid added? But so far, nobody seems to know.
 

Justinian

Active Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2005
Messages
888
I don't have access to regular charcoal, but I think it depends on the ingredients. One video the guy says you can use lumber, but if it has been treated, you can't get all the chemicals out and they'll contaminate your water. So I'd say if it's natural charcoal, that from what I've read and seen so far, that it'd be okay. Even over here in the desert, we can get natural charcoal for 20bucks for a large 50lb bag. But the problem I think you're seeing.. and what I've seen, is that you need so much of this stuff cause when you take even the stuff they show you how to make and crush it up.. you lose volume so you need a ton of this stuff. I'm pretty sure on the colony that they didn't make it or find it.. the show brought it in. And I think for safety reasons is why they don't show exactly what kind of charcoal. Although, you'd think it'd be more of a safety concern to make sure everyone knew what kind it was so people weren't using matchlight to filter their water.
 

Justinian

Active Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2005
Messages
888
EUREKA!! I think..
This place sells up to 20lbs of the stuff specifically for water filters. And different kinds too. Coconut, bone something.. there's numerous kinds. I found this link through the wiki page on activated charcoal. It was one of their reference links. From what I read in the wiki, you have to be careful what kind of charcoal you use because certain kinds don't absorp enough and your water will still be bad. Also this is why activated charcoal is ground into powders, because the powder granules have more of an absorbant area.
Katadyn Activated Charcoal Filters, Water Bottles, Granular Activated Charcoal for Water Purification

Wiki on Activated Charcoal:
Activated carbon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wiki on Carbon Filters:
Carbon filtering - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hopefully I've been useful for once in my life. :p

Edit: Still working on how to actually make the carbon filter. The wiki shows a picture, but doesn't give too many specifics.

I gotta give it to you Sam. Looking all this up has been really fun and interesting.

It seems that regular coal is formed in the earth by a process of compressing plant life over millions of years. Activated charcoal is formed in just a few hours by taking plant life, usually wood, and cooking it without burning it in the absence of oxygen. There is a chemical way and nonchemical way to do this. The nonchemical way seems to be basically baking it. But it seems that what you don't get when you make it yourself, is certain chemicals that these specific water filter charcoal has put in it. AlOH3 I think is the chemical compound. Not sure what it does yet, but seems to me that if it isn't in water to begin with, I'm not a chemist, but could be that it might not be a neccessity. More research to come.
 

Samstwitch

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2011
Messages
5,059
EUREKA!! I think..
This place sells up to 20lbs of the stuff specifically for water filters...
Thanks for posting this information! It's still expensive, but I have more options now. I'll be looking into this tomorrow. I really appreciate the help. I wish we knew who to ask about using Charcoal Briquettes.
 

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