835 North Cassady Ave
Columbus, Ohio 43219
Reactivation Process and Advantages
With its spent carbon reactivation program, Calgon Carbon has been a green company for years. After an activated carbon's adsorptive capacity has been exhausted, it can be returned to Calgon Carbon for thermal reactivation. In the reactivation process, the spent activated carbon is heated in furnaces devoid of oxygen, using steam as a selective oxidant. The adsorbed organics are either volatilized from the activated carbon or pyrolized to a carbon char. The volatile organics are destroyed in the furnace's afterburner and acid gases are removed by means of a chemical scrubber. The high-temperature reaction with steam serves to restore the adsorptive capacity of the activated carbon. The reactivated product is packaged and recycled for reuse.
Reactivation and recycling eliminate the cost and longterm liability associated with disposal of spent activated carbon. In addition to being efficient and cost-effective, reactivated carbon also represents an environmentally friendly, cradle-to-grave alterative to virgin carbon. Calgon Carbon has safely reactivated well over one hundred billion pounds of spent carbon, making us the world's leader in activated carbon recycling.
With a full line of products and services, including carbon reactivation, Calgon Carbon makes it easy to go green!
When should I reactivate my carbon?
In theory, a GAC filter should be reactivated when the outlet concentration of the compound(s) to be removed, such as benzene, is nearing the regulatory limit. However, in practice, reactivation frequency is also influenced by factors such as:
1) Estimated performance based on previous experience
2) Need for extra capacity to handle peak concentrations
3) Logistical limitations removing and replacing GAC
4) The time of year for factors such as peak plant output.
The GAC in a filter can be monitored by taking samples from a bed in operation to access the condition of the GAC. During reactivation, the iodine number of the GAC can normally be increased by more than 300 mg/g, though not normally to a level higher than the level of the original carbon. Activated carbons are typically reactivated when they have an iodine number of 500 to 600, although they are often successfully reactivated when the iodine number is as low as 400. Calgon Carbon can provide iodine number testing, as well as spent carbon sampling services, for your spent activated carbon.
How is my spent activated carbon returned for reactivation?
Once accepted for reactivation, Calgon Carbon will work with you to find the most cost-effective and efficient modes of return for the spent carbon. Common methods of return include sending pallets of filters for dump and refill, or super-sacks (each holding approximately 1,000 pounds of spent carbon) using LTL or flatbed trucks. Calgon Carbon can also provide Field Services to both remove and install the carbon or filters at your site in the most efficient manner to maximize the your economic investment and minimize disruptions to the your operations.
What if my spent carbon is RCRA -hazardous?
Calgon Carbon's reactivation furnaces at Catlettsburg, Ky., and Pittsburgh are fully permitted to accept RCRA-hazardous spent carbons as well as non-hazardous carbons. In either event, the spent carbons are stored under water with vent emissions treated by carbon adsorption until the spent carbon is conveyed to the furnace.
In addition, should the spent carbon be deemed unacceptable for reactivation for any reason, Calgon Carbon will assist in arranging incineration of the material so that your liability for the material may still be terminated.
What if my spent carbon is RCRA -hazardous?
Calgon Carbon's reactivation process drives off and then destroys the contaminants that were loaded onto the spent carbon. The contaminants are either volatilized from the activated carbon or thermally transformed into a carbon char. The volatile organics are destroyed in the furnace's afterburner and acid gases are removed by means of a chemical scrubber.
Protecting our environment is an important task
The quality of our life – and of our children's — depends on how clean we keep the air we breathe and the water we drink. Realizing the importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Calgon Carbon is committed to helping make the world a "greener" and cleaner place, while striving to make water and air safer and cleaner.
Calgon Carbon cannot accept the return of any spent carbon until the material has been tested and approved for reactivation. This is necessary to ensure that spent carbon contaminates are within our operating permits; that the spent carbon can be handled and reactivated safely; and that the quality of our recycled carbon products is maintained. This process is called Carbon Acceptance.
The first step in obtaining Carbon Acceptance is to collect a representative sample, using a carbon acceptance kit to submit a sample from adsorption equipment. The kit contains a half-gallon sample bottle, an information package with all of the required documents, and a pre-labeled return shipping box. It is vital that the sample be representative of the carbon bed. Do not scrape the sample from the top of the bed. Use a grain thief or similar device to ensure that the entire bed is sampled. Instructions for obtaining a representative carbon sample are available. Calgon Carbon also offers spent activated carbon sample collection services.
The second step in obtaining Carbon Acceptance is to send us an Adsorbate Profile Document (ADP) and representative spent carbon sample. The APD is used by the generator to characterize and classify the spent carbon, which is evaluated against our spent carbon acceptance criteria. The sample is tested to determine how the material processes only. For assistance in completing the ADP, obtaining a carbon acceptance kit, or for questions regarding the carbon acceptance process, visit our website www.calgoncarbon.com or phone 1-800-4CARBON, ext. 6657.
Upon APD review and sample testing, the Carbon Acceptance department will inform you if the material is acceptable for recycling. If it is, the material will be assigned a unique carbon acceptance number of four digits followed by the letter "N" (for non-hazardous), "R" (for RCRA), or "S" (hazardous in generator's state). If the spent activated carbon is not accepted for recycling, it will be assigned an unique disposal number (DS) and Calgon Carbon will assist in arranging incineration of the material so that your liability for the material may still be terminated.
A CAN or DS number will be used to identify a particular spent activated carbon throughout its lifetime, and must be referenced when you call to schedule a return. Both also require a recertification process that must be completed every five years where a new sample and APD must be submitted.
Each new sample of spent activated carbon is tested to ensure that it meets our requirements for safety/toxicity, regulatory compliance and protection of our personnel and process equipment. The samples are tested for ignitability, pH, volatile halides (chloride, fluoride and bromide), volatile sulfur, metals and reactivation efficiency, as well as other specific parameters depending upon the customer's application. These tests are performed solely for the purposes of comparing to Calgon Carbon's internal guidelines and specific permit limits. The tests are not intended to be used for generator RCRA hazardous determination or Adsorbate Profile Document completion. However, for a RCRA declaration, we are able to assist by submitting the spent carbon sample for TCLP testing. The cost for TCLP testing is:
TCLP Volatiles $ 300
TCLP Semi-Volatiles $ 500
TCLP Metals $ 225
TCLP Pest./Herb. $ 500
Carbon Acceptance testing on routine samples typically requires 2-3 weeks from receipt of the sample and completed profile document to assignment of a Carbon Acceptance (CAN) or Disposal (DS) Number. A notification is then sent to the customer that the spent carbon may be scheduled for return to our reactivation facility.
Calgon Carbon Corporation (NYSE: CCC) is a global leader in services and solutions for making water and air safer and cleaner, and for purifying food, beverage and industrial process streams. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, the company operates 16 manufacturing, reactivation, and equipment fabrication facilities, and 20 sales and service centers.
Calgon Carbon, which is known as Chemviron Carbon in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, serves thousands of customers around the world.