Introduction of Activated Charcoal:Activated organic charcoal or lampblack.

Popular Herbs. ✵The article gives records of the herb Activated Charcoal, its English name, Latin name and other names, 3 commonly used botanical source of activated carbon, ①.Coconut shell-activated carbon., ②.Fruit shell-activated carbon., ③.Wood-based activated carbon., with a brief history of activated carbon applications, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Activated Charcoal(lampblack).

Activated Charcoal English Name: Activated Charcoal.
 Latin Name: N/A.
 Common Names: Activated organic charcoal, charcoal, gas black, lampblack.
 Property and flavor: Unknown.

 Brief introduction: Activated charcoal is made from charred wood, peat moss, or other vegetable matter, this fine black powder is specially processed so that its absorption capacity is enhanced. Activated carbon is mainly composed of carbon, and contains a few elements such as oxygen, hydrogen, sulfur, nitrogen, chlorine, etc. It is irregularly arranged in structure, and there are pores between cross-connections. When activated, it will produce carbon tissue defects, low bulk density, large specific surface area, and strong adsorption performance. It is a kind of industrial adsorbent with wide applications. The specific surface area of ordinary activated carbon is between 500 and 1700 m2/g.

 Botanical source: The main raw materials of activated carbon can be almost all organic materials rich in carbon, such as coal, wood, fruit shells, coconut shells, walnut shells, etc. These carbonaceous materials are converted into activated carbon by pyrolysis at high temperatures and certain pressure in an activation furnace. In this activation process, huge surface area and complex pore structure are gradually formed, and the so-called adsorption process is carried out in and on these pores. The size of pores in activated carbon can selectively adsorb adsorbate, because macromolecules smaller than its pore size can't enter the pore of activated carbon. These 3 commonly used botanical source activated carbon are introduced:

(1).Coconut shell-activated carbon.

 Coconut shell Coconut shell-activated carbon is made from high-quality coconut shells from Southeast Asia and other places. The raw materials are screened, refined after steam carbonization, and then made by a series of processes such as impurity removal, activation screening, etc. Coconut shell activated carbon is black granular, with a developed pore structure, high adsorption capacity, high strength, stable chemical properties, and durability. It is mainly used for deodorizing, removing heavy metals in water, dechlorinating and liquid decoloring of foods, beverages, alcoholic beverages, air-purification activated carbon, and high-purity drinking water. And it can be widely used for solvent recovery and gas separation in the chemical industry.

(2).Fruit shell-activated carbon.

 walnut seed shells Activated carbon from fruit shells is mainly made from fruit shells (such as apricot seed shells, peach seed shells, walnut seed shells, and jujube seed shells) and sawdust through carbonization, activation, and refining. It has the characteristics of large specific surface area, high strength, uniform particle size, well-developed pore structure, and strong adsorption performance. It can effectively adsorb free chlorine, phenol, sulfur, oil, gum, pesticide residues, and other organic pollution in water, and recover organic solvents. It is suitable for pharmaceutical, petrochemical, sugar-making, beverage, and alcohol purification industries, decolorizing, refining, and purifying organic solvents, sewage treatment, etc.

(3).Wood-based activated carbon.

 Wood-based activated carbon Wood-based activated carbon is made of high-quality wood with a powdery shape, which is refined through high-temperature carbonization, activation, and various processes. It has the characteristics of large specific surface area, high activity, developed micropores, strong decolorization, large pore structure, etc., and can absorb various substances and impurities with color. It is mainly used for the decolorization of food, alcohol, oil, beverage, dye, chemical industry, tap water purification, sewage treatment, COD reduction (Chemical Oxygen Demand reduction), medicinal activated carbon, and other applications.

 The brief history of activated carbon applications: The brief history of activated carbon applications is introduced:

 In 1550 B.C., there was a medical record in Egypt; From 460 to 359 B.C., Greek doctor Hippocrates used it to treat epilepsy; From 1518 to 1593, it was mentioned in the Compendium of Materia Medica of Li Shizhen for treating diseases; In 1794, a sugar factory in England used it to accelerate decolorization. The above examples all use charcoal, not activated carbon.

 As a man-made material, activated carbon was invented between 1900 and 1901. Raphael von Ostrejko, the inventor, invented that using metal chloride carbonized plant-derived raw materials or carbon dioxide or water vapor reacted with carbonized materials to make activated carbon. It was first used in industrial production in a factory near Vienna in 1911. At that time, the product was powdered activated carbon, and the trade name was Epomit. In the same year, Norit was on market in the Netherlands; Carboraffin was sold in Czechoslovakia in 1912.

 In the history of activated carbon application, the first important event was the application of activated carbon gas masks during the First World War (World War I) in the 1920s. In the initial stage, the main application of activated carbon was that powdered carbon gradually replaced the original bone carbon in the sugar industry. Particles that appeared during the First World War (World War I) in the 1920s were widely used in gas masks. At that time, Norit in the Netherlands, manufacturers and wholesalers in Czechoslovakia, Germany, France, Switzerland, and other countries had set up a joint company, which showed that activated carbon sprouting in Europe was also a new industry that was widely valued. With the application of gas masks, the history of activated carbon has entered the second stage, and the market of activated carbon has been expanding. The application of adsorption and catalytic functions of activated carbon in refining, recycling, and synthesis in many industries has been developed one after another, and activated carbon factories in USA (the United States of America) and other countries have been opened one after another. Activated carbon, which has been expanding its application since the middle of the 20th century, is regarded as a "universal adsorbent".

 The second important thing is the deodorization of activated carbon, which was used in hundreds of waterworks in the 1940s. In 1927, the Chicago Waterworks in USA had a foul smell of tap water which was unacceptable to the majority of residents. This was caused by the odor of phenyl hydrate in raw water and chlorine for disinfection. The same accidents happened in waterworks in Europe, which was all solved by activated carbon. Since then, with the increasing attention paid to environmental protection, the amount of activated carbon not only in water purification but also in gas purification has increased dramatically, making the environmental protection industry a big user of activated carbon in the second half of the 20th century. Thus, the history of activated carbon has entered a development stage.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.absorbing large amounts of complex toxic substances and transporting them through the bowels and out of the body, thereby preventing their absorption into the blood-stream.

 Medicinal efficacy: Activated charcoal has been used to treat poisoning, and other uses, reduce flatulence (stomach or intestinal gas and associated pains), relieving bloating and other symptoms of digestive system upset, lowering cholesterol levels, detoxifying the body, combating hangovers, infections, and hiccups.

 Administration of Activated charcoal: 
Reference: Administration Guide of Activated charcoal
Herbal classic books: Commonly advised dosages: 500 mg for digestive problems at the onset of symptoms, another 500~100 mgs every two hours as needed. Doses over 20 grams may interfere with nutrient absorption.
 Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions: Avoid taking activated charcoal within one hour of taking nutritional supplements.

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