Tip of the Day – 8/18/2010

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Don’t throw away your used filter media like carbon and GFO. These media can beĀ  reactivated and reused. To reactivate carbon, simply cook it. GFO takes a little more effort. It must be soaked in sodium hydroxide (NaOH). But be careful since sodium hydroxide can be very caustic and will corrode different materials.

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  • guest

    i thought that reactivation of carbon requires temperatures around 1500degrees,

    • AquaNerd

      on the back of some activated carbon boxes, the labels state that you can "reactivate" the carbon by throwing it in the oven at around 350 degrees for a half hour or so. they also state that this only works one or two times before the carbon is useless or can no longer be "reactivated" for lack of a better term.

      i'm assuming what happens is that a lot of the water and organic matter trapped in the pores of the carbon that is being cooked off. this allows the carbon to be used one more time. though it won't be "good as new" at this point, it's better than having to buy more.

      true activation of carbon is simply cooking it to create tiny pores throughout the media. of course the pores will almost always be present once the carbon has been activated. however, these pores will fill up with all sorts of junk, so cooking it per recommendations is not really "reactivating", but merely extending its life. the confusion here is on the terms, which get thrown around very loosely.