How To Make Activated Charcoal for Water & Air Filters

Categories: DIY, Education, Camping, On The Water, Rainwater Harvesting

Water, Water everywhere but not a drop to drink

After starting our journey from town house to off grid I realised that we would need many things. Some I could Build and some I would have to buy. I made multiple lists with different aspects of off grid life and then broke those into their respective parts.

As I didn’t know what land we were getting at the time I could only work on the most obvious and most necessary bits we needed. Like water.

I realised early on that a clean drinkable water source was a must and I went to the Internet for ideas. My originally idea was a rain water collection system with a filter. I chose this because I didn’t know if there were any other sources of water on the land but I did know that it will rain! I live in Wales that’s something it always does.

I decided to first look into filtration and work back to the collection method.

After a lot of research I found that one of the best chemicals for filtration is charcoal and to make it even better at filtering you can put it through a chemical process to make it have more surface area. It is then called activated charcoal.

My little boss man Helping with the process

Charcoal is able to trap toxins and other chemicals in millions of tiny pores. Although charcoal works well on its own activated charcoal has millions and millions more pores than standard charcoal has. This means it is able to filter more toxins than regular charcoal.

A simple process to make activated carbon out of household items

This is just one of the many benefits of activated charcoal another is teeth whitening. The reason I mention that is I will be doing a video on that in the near future.

Other applications for activated charcoal are:

  • Helps with bloating
  • Treats alcohol poisoning
  • Toxin removal
  • Skin and Body health
  • Can help the digestive tract
  • Can reduce cholesterol 


Anyway the video below shows one of the easiest methods for making activated charcoal/carbon, which will save you lots of money if you plan on making filters with it.

How to make activated carbon:

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