Technical article

Carbon molecular sieve vs activated carbon


For people who are not in the chemical industry, they misunderstand that carbon molecular sieve and activated carbon are the same substance. Actually they are very different. Today we will analyze it in detail through this article.
1st  Different definitions
* Activated carbon is a specially treated carbon that heats organic raw materials (nut shells, coal, wood, etc.) in the absence of air to reduce non-carbon components (this process is called carbonization), and then reacts with gases to surface is eroded, resulting in a structure with well-developed pores (this process is called activation). Since the activation process is a microscopic process, that is, the surface erosion of a large number of molecular carbides is point erosion, so the activated carbon surface has numerous tiny pores. Most of the micropore diameters on the surface of activated carbon are between 2 and 50 nm. Even a small amount of activated carbon has a huge surface area. The surface area of each gram of activated carbon is 500 to 1500 m2. Almost all applications of activated carbon are based on this feature of activated carbon.
* Carbon molecular sieve is a new type of adsorbent developed in the 1970s. It is an excellent non-polar carbon material. Carbon Molecular Sieves (CMS) is used to separate air and enrich nitrogen. Compared with the traditional cryogenic high pressure nitrogen production process, the normal temperature low pressure nitrogen production process has the advantages of less investment cost, faster nitrogen production speed and lower nitrogen cost. Therefore, it is the preferred pressure swing adsorption (P.S.A) air separation nitrogen-rich adsorbent in the engineering community.
2nd  Different raw materials
* The main raw material of carbon molecular sieve is phenolic resin.
* The main raw materials of activated carbon are the common organic raw materials in life, mainly coconut shell, coal, wood, etc. At the same time there are powder and column points.
3rd  Different pore diameter
Both carbon molecular sieves and activated carbon are common adsorbents, but with different pore sizes.
* Carbon molecular sieves have a strict pore size distribution range, small enough molecules can be adsorbed through the pores, while larger molecules cannot. Carbon molecular sieves also have a screening function for adsorbing gases or liquids.
* The pore size of activated carbon varies in size and size, and has a larger specific surface area, which is generally used for adsorption.
4th Different application
* Carbon molecular sieve is mostly used in nitrogen generators. It is a non-polar adsorbent. It has the performance of adsorbing oxygen molecules in the air at room temperature and pressure swing to produce nitrogen. The obtained nitrogen is widely used in chemical industry, oil and gas industry, electronics industry, food industry, coal industry, pharmaceutical industry, cable industry, metal heat treatment, transportation and storage, etc.
* As for activated carbon, coal-based columnar activated carbon is usually used in the operation of the entire PSA nitrogen generator to absorb water vapor and oil-gas impurities in the air. At the same time, activated carbon is often used in sewage treatment plants, flue gas treatment and other places.


Jiangxi OIM Chemical is a carbon molecular sieve supplier, and the carbon molecular sieves we produce are often used in nitrogen generators, also known as carbon molecular sieve nitrogen generators. If you need to know more about carbon molecular sieve specifications, carbon molecular sieve price and carbon molecular sieve price per kg, please feel free to contact us.

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Tracy Chen
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