What Does Spent Granular Activated Carbon Weigh?

spent granular activated carbon

Granular activated carbon is among the most common media for water treatment. One of the many benefits it offers is cost-effectiveness. Often, it’s possible to reuse granular activated carbon that has become “spent” (meaning it can no longer trap more contaminants).

You may have some questions about this topic if you’re considering investing in granular activated carbon for your water treatment needs. For instance, perhaps you’re wondering what spent granular activated carbon weighs.

Keep reading for more information. The following overview explains the basics of an admittedly complex subject.

What is Spent Granular Activated Carbon?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists granular activated carbon as being one of the most effective media for water treatment. According to the EPA, benefits of granular activated carbon include:

  • A large surface area
  • The ability to remove up to 99.9% of certain volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • A range of treatment capacities depending on the type of granular activated carbon used and your water treatment needs

Per the EPA, granular activated carbon becomes “spent” when contaminants thoroughly cover its surfaces. Once this happens, the granular activated carbon can no longer function as a water treatment medium. You will either need to replace it with fresh granular activated carbon, or heat it to remove the contaminants.

Doing so could allow you to reuse granular activated carbon. Thus, saving money may be another benefit of opting for this water treatment method.

Understanding How Much Spent Granular Activated Carbon Weighs

There is no universal answer to the question of “What does spent granular activated carbon weigh?” Various factors can influence its total weight.

The weight of one cubic foot of activated carbon is approximately between 92 and 93 pounds. Be aware, that’s not a definite range. A cubic foot of granular activated carbon could weigh slightly more or less depending on the specific type you use.

Regardless, the accumulation of contaminants will typically add to the weight of granular activated carbon. The degree to which it does so may depend at least somewhat on the nature of said contaminants.

Reusing Spent Granular Activated Carbon: Important Information

The EPA states that reusing spent granular activated carbon typically requires transporting it to an off-site facility. Professionals with the necessary tools and expertise can heat the carbon to very high temperatures to destroy the contaminants that have built up on its surfaces. Once its free of contaminants, you might be able to use it again.

You may plan on coordinating with such professionals to reuse your spent granular activated carbon. If so, remember that the spent media will weigh more than it did when you first received it. Account for this when making arrangements to transport it to an off-site facility. The added weight may influence how you choose to store and transport it.

Many Factors Influence the Weight of Spent Granular Activated Carbon

It’s impossible to say what spent granular activated carbon could weigh without knowing what type of granular activated carbon you’re using, how much you’re using, what types of contaminants have accumulated on it, and more.

The main point to understand is that granular activated carbon may already be somewhat dense and weighty. As contaminants build up, it will become heavier. Remember this when planning to transport or dispose of it.

Puragen offers various types of granular activated carbon and other filtration products.

Sarah Ross

Sarah Ross