The Wonders of Charcoal
You might have heard the popular term ‘activated charcoal’ recently, and wondered why on earth you’d want a lump of charcoal in your water bottle. So we thought we’d delve into this ancient purification method and explain just why it might be a good idea…
Yes, you heard that correctly, charcoal. Though this is not the same type you’ll be using to power your barbecue. Activated charcoal is produced by burning wood, bamboo, coconut or coal without oxygen. This creates a char to the material, which then undergoes a treatment of high temperature and certain gases. This process leaves you with a type of charcoal known as binchotan, which has an incredibly large surface area due to all the porous cracks that run through it. In fact just 1g of binchotan charcoal has the same surface area as a tennis court.
What’s so impressive about that colossal surface area?
This type of charcoal is able to attract a vast amount of toxins, and the larger exposed surface area means it can do that job more effectively and for longer. It’s actually been used at a clinical level for many years to draw harmful toxins from the body for those suffering from severe food poisoning, as well as drug overdoses. This is why activated charcoal has been used more recently in juices as part of a detox regime.
Being such a great purifier, it’s not surprising that the Japanese have been using binchotan as a water filter since the 17th Century (it’s also a very important component in authentic yakitori grilling).
Why should I use binchotan in my water?
Although we are very lucky to have such clean tap water in the UK, there are still a number of contaminants present including traces of chlorine and aluminium. In some houses there is also the risk of lead contamination and deposits of other heavy metals.
The positive ions of these contaminants are attracted to the negative surface of the charcoal, which captures them. At the same time, the binchotan also releases minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium, which softens the water and can make it taste cleaner.
How long will it last?
A single stick of charcoal will last up to 6 months depending on the volume of water you drink. If you notice that your water begins to start tasting differently, or less filtered, then you can boil your charcoal and reuse (recharge) it. This helps release some of the contaminants, freeing more space up for it to continue absorbing those nasties.
You can find more information on our product pages for black+blum's charcoal products.
No excuse for single use
Charcoal is an incredibly powerful natural water purifier and has the potential to deliver many health benefits. So if you’re not keen on the taste of tap water, but want to stop relying on wasteful bottled water, or simply want to further purify your water without the need for plastic cartridges, then binchotan charcoal filters fit the bill perfectly. Why not give them whirl?