Activated carbon is a product mainly made from stone- or wood-based carbon. When ?activating? the carbon, the pore structures open inside and create a large internal surface area. The surface area adsorbs discarded particles and differs in requirements depending on purpose and customer specification. The adsorption can be either mechanical or chemical depending on use and function. Different activated carbons are designed to adsorb different types of compounds. For example, activated carbon specially designed to adsorb micro pollutants, such as pesticides, will have a greater volume of micropores. Other activated carbons can be designed to adsorb a wider range of compounds and will therefore have a weighted mix of macro-, mesa- and micropores.
The illustration beside show a simple explanation of how the absorption works: