Catalytic Carbon is a modified version of traditional carbon. Through a chemical process, the surface of catalytic carbon is improved to offer better catalytic capabilities. This means that catalytic carbon will do a better job at converting certain impurities in the water into a filterable product. As an iron filter, catalytic carbon will filter out ferric (insoluble) iron and hydrogen sulfide (Rotten Egg Odour, Sulfur, H2S) provided there that the water is oxidized. Without oxidization, catalytic carbon may not properly filter out these contaminants and may only partially reduce their effects.
Oxidization & Air Injectors
In the majority of cases, the water needs to be oxidized in order for catalytic carbon to properly filter iron from your water. This can be done with a built in air injector in the carbon filter’s control valve. This air injector will pull in air as the unit is backwashed and/or rinsed through a venturi effect. This is the most economical and efficient way to oxidize the water as it requires no extra parts or additional equipment to purchase.
Older iron filters/carbon filters may have a venturi valve plumbed in before the pressure take as to allow the water to be constantly injected with air when you call for water. This set up is more or less outdated as it requires extra parts, hard to regulate, injects too much air, may damage the pressure tank. Finally, An electrical air pump may be plumbed in upstream of the catalytic carbon filter. The systems vary in complexity with some having timers, aeration controls etc. Air pumps are more for severe cases and commercial or industrial applications.
How does Aquapura Use Birm Media
Most of the time, we use a combination of Birm and carbon (or catalytic carbon in certain cases) to treat iron, hydrogen sulfide and manganese. We are finding that this approach allows the media to last about 7-15 years, whereas solely using catalytic carbon will only last 5-7 years before the media fouls. If manganese and/or H2S levels were high, we may recommend a seperate catalytic carbon backwashing filter downstream of a Birm/carbon backwashing oxidizing filter. The birm/carbon filter will take the brunt of the iron, manganese and H2S, while the post catalytic carbon filter would act as a polishing filter and treat any lingering bad odours and tastes.
Brands of Catalytic Carbon Media
There are several different manufacturers of catalytic carbon media from Centurion (Waterite), Centaur, Mastercarb, Aquasorb, Ecocarb etc. Basically, as long as they are labeled as catalytic carbon and have the same standard mesh, they all do the same job. Certain dealers and distributors will favour one brand over another as will the average homeowner D.I.Yer. We find that this is mostly subjective and you just need to make sure that you are buying from a reputable distributor or manufacturers. We tend to sell the most of the Centurion 12/40 Mesh Catalytic Carbon Media and most of our catalytic carbon filters are bed with it.