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Coconut Shell Carbon: An Economic Alternative To Coal-Based Carbons

Source: Evoqua Water Technologies

Coconut Shell Carbon: An Economic Alternative To Coal-Based Carbons

In recent years, several market forces have impacted the price of activated carbon produced from anthracite and bituminous coals. Fortunately, activated carbons produced from coconut shell provide an alternate source of supply for many liquid phase and vapor phase applications where coal-based carbons have traditionally been used.

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In recent years, several market forces have impacted the price of activated carbon produced from anthracite and bituminous coals. Fortunately, activated carbons produced from coconut shell provide an alternate source of supply for many liquid phase and vapor phase applications where coal-based carbons have traditionally been used.

A number of factors have driven up the cost of coal-based activated carbons, including:

  • Imposition of an import tariff on coal-based carbons imported from China by the US Department of Commerce. This tariff ranges from 70% to 228% and will remain in place for the next several years.
  • The overall demand for coal has increased globally, due to higher energy demands. This has led to a scarcity of supply of suitable grades of coal to produce activated carbon, and has increased the cost of the raw material coal as well.
  • China has been pressured by the U. S. Treasury Department to float the Yuan (or Chinese RMB) according to global exchange rates, resulting in a devaluation of the US Dollar by approximately 14% over the past 2 years. This again impacts the cost of coal-based carbons imported from China.

All of these factors have led to recent instability in the cost of coal-based carbons. Coconut shell carbon alternatives have been much more stable and predictable in cost, making these carbons a viable economic alternative as well.

In addition to cost savings, activated carbons produced from coconut shell are also suitable for many liquid phase and vapor phase applications where coal-based carbons have traditionally been used. In particular, the removal of trace level organics from water streams with little to no background TOC levels is a good fit for coconut-based carbon’s microporous structure. In vapor phase applications, VOC abatement and solvent recovery (for light molecular weight organics) are good fits for coconut-based carbons.

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