Our Carbon Blocks
Carbon Block Technology
Multipure has dedicated over five decades to the pursuit of cleaner drinking water, protecting the water in people’s homes and improving the health of families. For over five decades, Multipure has developed, refined, and manufactured the most powerful, most capable, and most reliable solid carbon block water filters and drinking water systems.
Drinking water pollution and hazardous contaminants can come from many sources. Surface water can become contaminated with agricultural runoff, community landfills, and hazardous waste from manufacturing byproducts. Groundwater can become contaminated from gasoline and MTBE leaks from underground storage tanks, or from the injection of hazardous waste into deep wells. Deteriorating infrastructure can leach harmful contaminants into the water supply it is designed to transport, such as lead or other metals.
A significant factor in the growth of the drinking water treatment industry can be attributed to the ongoing prevalence of water emergencies and the increasing detection and understanding of drinking water contaminants and contamination vectors. This had led to a corresponding increase in consumer demand for products that can improve not just the taste, appearance, and odor of the water, but also protect consumers from potentially harmful contaminants in their drinking water. The effectiveness of these water treatment products is measured by the performance of their water filters.
A close review of drinking water treatment unit certifications shows that solid carbon block water filters are the most effective consumer means for reducing a wide range of contaminants, including those that may be found in groundwater. Certain drinking water treatment units utilizing solid carbon water filters have been tested and certified to reduce upwards of 85 or more contaminants. These contaminants include disinfectants such as chlorine or chloramine, heavy metals or metalloids such as lead or arsenic, disinfection byproducts such as chloroform or trihalomethanes, and microbiological organisms such as bacteria, viruses, and cysts.
Activated carbon has been an effective material in the treatment of drinking water contaminants in use throughout history, and it is known to be effective in the reduction of disinfection byproducts, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), heavy metals, and variety of many other potentially harmful contaminants. Solid carbon block water filter technology transforms activated carbon into an even more effective and efficient form, and was developed by Multipure in the early 1970s for the purpose of creating a more powerful and more comprehensive solution to the treatment of drinking water contaminants. Multipure’s carbon block filter technology combines multiple methods of contaminant reduction action – mechanical filtration, chemisorption (chemical-reaction adsorption), physisorption (physical adsorption), and catalysis (catalyst-driven chemical reaction) – into a single device to reduce a broad spectrum of harmful contaminants.
In a Multipure carbon block, the activated carbon materials are selected for high activity. Years of research, development, and manufacturing experience have helped Multipure develop specifications for carbon and other media that give its solid carbon block water filters distinct performance advantages over alternative treatments. Quality assurance procedures are carefully developed and maintained to assure that raw materials meet Multipure's high standards.
As evidenced by independent laboratory testing and the certification of carbon block water filters, Multipure has been successful in developing the technology to produce filters that provide greater chemisorption, physisorption, catalysis, and mechanical filtration. Materials are heated and pressed into a densely compacted solid carbon block; compression enhances the kinetics of the filter and provides performance that cannot be achieved with granular activated carbon (GAC) – a cheaper and far less effective filtration media. Compacted carbon block water filters have a large surface area to better facilitate adsorption. With a solid carbon block, the water contact time is longer and provides for greater adsorption of many different chemicals, including pesticides, herbicides, and certain heavy metals. A close review of product listings confirms that Multipure drinking water systems are among the few that have been certified to reduce some of the more particularly difficult contaminants in water, including PCBs, PFOA/PFOS, and microcystin.
Multipure’s densely compacted carbon block allows for mechanical filtration of particles as small as 0.5 microns; at this pore size, contaminant reduction includes cysts such as giardia and cryptosporidium, asbestos, turbidity, and particulates. The incorporation of a pre-filter onto Multipure's solid carbon water filter design not only removes large particles and prevent premature clogging, but also better facilitates chemisorption. Because Multipure's carbon block water filters are exceptionally uniform in composition, they are not susceptible to channeling or bypass - drawbacks inherent to GAC filters.
Many newer, emerging contaminants – whose presence has been detected in water but whose effects on human consumption have not been explicitly demonstrated – have also been shown to be effectively treated by solid carbon block water filters. These contaminants include pest repellents (DEET), herbicides (metolachlor), antibiotics (trimethoprim), plastic components (BPA), artificial hormones (estrone), and over-the-counter drugs (ibuprofren or naproxen). Multipure products have been tested and certified for the treatment of these contaminants by NSF International under NSF Standard 401 (Emerging Compounds and Incidental Contaminants).
The addition of Multipure’s proprietary PureBlock filter media further enhances the power and ability of Multipure carbon block water filters, enabling for 6-log (99.9999%) removal of bacteria, 4-log (99.99%) removal of viruses, and 3-log (99.9%) removal of live cysts. Multipure’s Aqualuxe system features PureBlock-enhanced filters, and is NSF-certified as not just a water filtration device, but as a microbiological purifier (NSF Protocol P231).
Carbon Block Filter Capacity
Filter capacity varies depending on the density and size of the filter. The types and amounts of activated carbons used by Multipure determines the capacity of the water filters. Capacity ratings generally apply to the chemisorption and physisorption capabilities of the carbon and specialized filter media - carbon blocks with a high overall surface area allows for longer life and higher adsorption capacity. Capacity ratings for Multipure Drinking Water Systems range from 250 gallons to 1200 gallons, depending on the specific model.
Capacity claims are not applicable to contaminants reduced through mechanical filtration, due to the broad variations in the physical matter potentially present in the drinking water. Multipure solid carbon block water filters are engineered so that contaminants removed by mechanical filtration cause the flow rate to decrease and the filtration accessibility to narrow, thus offering protection to the consumer from giardia, cryptosporidium and other contaminants with a specific physical size.
Solid carbon block water filters effectively treat contaminants such as lead, chlorine, benzene, MTBE, chloramines, PCBs, and more. Carbon block filters have proven to be capable of significantly reducing newer, emerging contaminants, such as antibiotics, drugs, and other personal care products. Multipure’s technological innovations in carbon block water filters increase their capabilities to the water purification of bacteria, viruses, and live cysts. The effectiveness of Multipure solid carbon block filters in treating a broad spectrum of contaminants of aesthetic as well as health concern makes it the bona fide technology of choice for consumers throughout the country.