Activated charcoal or carbon is a fine black odorless and tasteless powder made from wood or other materials that have been exposed to very high temperatures in an airless environment. Activated carbon is pure carbon specially processed to make it highly adsorbent of particles and gases. Those derived from coal and coke are referred as activated coal and activated coke respectively.
To make it, the common charcoal is heated in the presence of a gas that causes it to develop lots of internal spaces or “pores.” These pores help activated charcoal “trap” chemicals.
Activated carbon has often been used since ancient times to cure a variety of ailments including poisoning, overdoses, and toxins. It is used to flatulence, lower cholesterol levels, gas purification, decaffeination, gold purification, metal extraction, water purification, medicine, sewage treatment.
Activated charcoal is used for removing pollutants from air and water. Filters with activated carbon are usually used for air and gas purification and to remove oil vapors, odor, and other hydrocarbons from the air. It is used in air filters in gas masks and respirators.