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Thread: Recyling activated carbon

  1. #1
    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    Recyling activated carbon

    Can I recycle activated carbon after it's used up? I change it in my filter once every two weeks, and was wondering if I could use it as something to make medium for CP's chunkier instead of throwing it away. I'm thinking perlite substitute. I imagine it would absorb fertilizers, but then again I don't fertilize the media, just the pitchers and sometimes foliarly (I know, I know)

    I looked it up, and Marineland says Black Diamond is "Heat-activated bituminous coal-based." Another website says it's phosphate free.

    It's not horticultural charcoal, so I figured I'd ask first. The only thing that's been through it is slightly tannin-laced RO water from the Nepenthes pots. I know the hazards of using it in the bottom of planted terrariums, but for use with plants that are top watered regularly, what could be the harm?

    I looked up bituminous coal and wikipedia says:

    Bituminous coal is a relatively hard coal containing a tar-like substance called bitumen. It is of higher quality than lignite coal but of poorer quality than anthracite coal.

    Bituminous coal is an organic sedimentary rock formed by diagenetic and submetamorphic compression of peat bog material.

    Bituminous coal has been compressed and heated so that its primary constituents are the macerals vitrinite, exinite, etc. The carbon content of bituminous coal is around 60-80%; the rest is composed of water, air, hydrogen, and sulfur, which have not been driven off from the macerals.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bituminous_coal

    Any other ideas of what to do with it? I try to recycle things when I can. Not really interesting in cooking it in the oven to recharge it, not when I can just buy it fresh and use it for media when it's done it's job. I don't have any vodka to filter OR poisonings planned in the future, so those ideas are out for now.

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    herenorthere's Avatar
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    Use it for whatever you like. Lots of people add charcoal to potting mixes and some of the best orchid mixes have plenty of it. As you point out, it might remain "active", but it would only do so for a while and would quickly become relatively inert. It certainly would make for a more attractive mix than perlite. But why are you filtering Nepenthes drainage water in the first place?
    Bruce in CT

    Madness is something rare in individuals but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

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    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    I'm filtering the water in the bottom of the terrarium. Check it out:
    http://terraforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=109595


    I wasn't entirely sure since it's coal based and not charcoal based.

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    herenorthere's Avatar
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    A lot of the activated carbon in drinking water filters is made from bituminous coal and it's been that way for quite a while.
    Bruce in CT

    Madness is something rare in individuals but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

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    Always a newbie glider14's Avatar
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    charcoal....drawings!
    Everything is explainable. The seemingly unexplainable is but a result of our insufficient knowledge.- Hans Brewer

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