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Not All Carbon Filters Are Made Equal

Why Carbon Filtration?
Carbon is a natural adsorption media used to remove harmful chemicals such as chlorine and its carcinogenic by-products. It also helps to improve the taste and smell of water.


Not All Are Made Equal

There are two predominant types of carbon filters used in the filtration industry: Solid-block Activated carbon and Granular activated filters (GAC). Solid-block Activated carbon filters are known to be much more effective at removing contaminants due to its larger ratio of surface area that allows a consistent rate of water exposure to maximise adsorption. These filters usually cost slightly more due to the additional manufacturing process to give them a solid block state.Granular activated filters consist of loose granules of carbon that high pressured water can create potential gaps to pass right through without contacting the carbon. Its lower ratio of surface area also means a much longer contact time is required for it to be fully effective in adsorption. These filter cost less as they are easier to manufacture and do not require additional processes.

Granular Activated Carbon (GAC)

  • Loose granules of carbon
  • Organic impurities develop in the filter, leading to less effective filtration as there’s less contact between the water and carbon
  • Particles move around and causing lack of uniformity throughout
  • Requires longer contact time with water to filter effectively
Solid-Block Activated Carbon

  • Blocks of compressed carbon, grounded even further into a fine mesh 7-19 times than GAC filters
  • Organic impurities not easily develop as blocks are much tighter and won’t let through cysts
  • Removes more contaminants due to larger surface area, remove chlorine more effectively, eliminate undesirable odours and halogenated organic compounds.
What You See Isn’t What You Get

These days, online platforms provide vast selections of filters – Many of which claim good adsorption effectiveness and quality. Some of these listings may even offer rock bottom prices with good-looking design and lots of claimed benefits, but you never know what you are getting until you receive it.Even then, you may still not be able to tell the difference between a good & mediocre carbon filter.

How to differentiate between a Solid Carbon Filter and Granular Activated Carbon Filter?

The easiest way to identify is by shaking the filter. Solid block carbon is exceptionally dense and firm, and should not create any sound when shaken; unlike granular which produces sound when shaken due to loose particles. Always check with your supplier/seller if the packaging does not indicate type of carbon. At Swisspro, we use quality extruded block carbon which is a higher grade of solid carbon block (CarboSwiss) in our filtration made in Switzerland, as part of a standard in our 3-stage filtration system.


In addition to common carbon blocks, our CarboSwiss Element incorporated Zeolite – currently the most advanced media to be introduced into the filtration market, which effectively removes heavy metals (such as lead or mercury).

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