Historically charcoal was first used to control wound odours. Charcoal powder was sprinkled directly on foul putrefying wounds as far back as 1500 BC. With more knowledge is now known about activated carbon, this tiny porous substance has now been widely used in many applications, one of which is to purify air.
Whether to capture laser plume or anesthesia gases in operating rooms, clearing the smoke from restaurants, smoke shops, or bars, or sucking up solvents and hair sprays in beauty salons, activated carbon air purifiers are the clear answer if enough amount is used so that the air has sufficient contact time with the carbon for it to grab all those odours/chemicals before they are blown back out into the room. How much is enough? Well if you don’t want to be changing out the carbon every month or two then you need upwards of 15 pounds or more of high grade Granular Activated Charcoal (GAC) not Powder Activated Charcoal (PAC).
Air Purifiers that use a few ounces of PAC impregnated filters are useless. You will want to consider how much air is the Air Purifier circulating per hour (CFM – cubic feet per minute), the size of area it is designed for, speed options, and noise level. Also, you need to know the carbon tetrachloride (CTC) number of the activated carbon – the higher the better. Coconut charcoal is preferable, it is the most hypoallergenic and has the longest history for air and vapour filtration.