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Activated Carbon Air Filter


by Hatty on May 15, 2007 Table of Contents Activated Carbon Air Filter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Intro: Activated Carbon Air Filter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step 1: Needed materials and Basic Idea . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step 2: Make the Frame . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step 3: Putting it all together . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Step 4: Finish it up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Related Instructables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Comments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 2 3 4 4 5 6 6

http://www.instructables.com/id/Activated-Carbon-Air-Filter/

Intro: Activated Carbon Air Filter


This instructable shows you how to make an air purifier to filter pollutants such as tobacco smoke, pollen, solder fumes and many other organic materials out of the air that you breathe.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Activated-Carbon-Air-Filter/

Step 1: Needed materials and Basic Idea


Computer fan Activated Carbon Glue Window screen pantyhose Modeler's plywood Basswood or balsa 12 volt AC/DC converter If you have enough modeler's plywood, then you can make the frame out of that, but to save money, I chose to glue my frame together with some balsa wood I had. I had everything but the activated carbon, which you can purchase at pet stores, already at my house. The purifier works by drawing air through the carbon and forcing it out through the top. The picture below is a cutaway view. The carbon surrounds the purifier on four walls with the fan on the top. The large surface area allows the air to pass through slowly which cleans the air much better.

Image Notes

http://www.instructables.com/id/Activated-Carbon-Air-Filter/

1. CA glue (aka super glue) 2. 1/8 inch thick modeler's plywood 3. Window screen 4. balsa wood 5. Activated Carbon 6. 12 volt ac/dc converter 7. Computer fan

Step 2: Make the Frame


This part is critical since it is what keeps your filter from falling apart, so cut and glue well. For the edges of the walls, I used 1/4x1/4 inch strip of balsa. To support the middle, I used 1/8x1/4 inch strip of balsa. Next, make 4 of both the inside and outside walls. You may need to cut some small squares of paper to stick in the corners for extra support. After the walls dry, lay the window screen out on wax paper. Apply a thin strip of glue to one side of each wall and place onto the window screen. The wax paper will keep the glue, which will run through the screen, from sticking to your table. After the glue dries, cut each wall away from the sheet of window screen. Next, cut a 45 degree angle in two sides of the wall so that the four outside and four inside walls can be joined to each other. Make sure that the window screen is on the outside of the square. In the end, you should have two squares with four walls covered and two left open (for the top and bottom of the filter).

Step 3: Putting it all together


Now that you have the two frames made, you can put everything together. But before you do this, make sure you slide pantyhose over both frames. This will keep the smaller bits of carbon from falling out. Now, take the bottom part of the filter and glue the frames to it. While that dries, clean the carbon. During shipping, small bits of dust will fall off. Clean it by placing it in a colander and running water through it. Let it dry and pour it into the filter. Next, once its full, glue the top on. NOTE: the small hole in the top is used for adding or removing activated carbon after the top is glued on. I just put tape over this to keep the carbon from falling out If all was done correctly, the fan should fit perfectly into the remaining hole in the top of the filter. Glue the fan in place and you now have a finished air filter.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Activated-Carbon-Air-Filter/

Step 4: Finish it up
The white tube on the top of the filter is there to help spread the filtered air around the room. To make it, all you have to do it tape together a paper tube that will fit over the fan. The top is made by cutting vertical slits in the tube and overlapping them to make the paper fold over the top and deflect the air into the room. To turn it on, you take the two computer fan leads and solder them to the 12 volt power supply. If everything works, it will be very hard to hear it running. Lastly, if you want the filter to emit a fragrance into the room, it is very simple. Place your favorite liquid fragrance into a thin medicine bottle and tape it to the center of the fan. As the air from the fan passes the medicine bottle, it will pull the fragrance out of the bottle and into the air. Now, the only problem with the filter is that the air emitted has a slight smell of carbon and I am not sure how to get rid of this. Since the fan cannot develop a lot of pressure, forcing the air through another filter would be difficult. If you have ideas then feel free to email me.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Activated-Carbon-Air-Filter/

Related Instructables

Air Filter for your room on the Cheap by Toadman03

Recycle an old power supply into a(nother) fume extractor by lowercase

How to refill a "disposable" Brita brand water pitcher filter with activated carbon. by IAMSatisfied

Illustrated Guide To Reusing A Disposable Aquarium Filter by FunkLiberationFront

Cheap and Easy Aquarium Filter by greenleaf35

Cheap and simple litter box odor filter by mackstann

Comments
50 comments Add Comment view all 73 comments

csatchell says:

Jun 29, 2009. 10:00 PM REPLY This device is exactly what I am looking for, but one question: How do you attach the 12 volt AC/DC converter to the fan wires?

Crapxxas19 says:

Feb 8, 2011. 1:11 PM REPLY cut the wire open and solder the + to the red and _ to the black. If you cant tell which is + and - guess and if the fan doesnt work, switch the wires.

Hatty says:

Jun 30, 2009. 4:33 AM REPLY There is just a positive and negative wire coming out of the fan and I hook that up to the positive and negative output of the power supply. Its as simple at that.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Activated-Carbon-Air-Filter/

killprogram says:

Sep 24, 2010. 3:52 AM REPLY ah yes but be careful when doing so i would recomend getting all of your connections together and semi-permanently fastened BEFORE even plugging it in and i mean i know it is dc but what if the transformer where to break just then? ill tell you what you would have a positivie and a negative end of AC power going from one hand through your chest and heart, to the other

Hatty says:

Sep 24, 2010. 4:50 AM REPLY 12 volts isn't really enough to break the skin and get into the body, so there really isn't much danger. But anytime you work with electricity you need to take precautions.

Wally_Z says:
Well, you won't feel 12V. But if the amperage is high enough, it'll kill you if you let it arc across your heart.

Feb 1, 2011. 8:10 AM REPLY

Crapxxas19 says:

Feb 8, 2011. 1:15 PM REPLY 12v cant arc across your body. The resistance of skin is too much. In any normal case, when working with 12v and under it is impossible to shock yourself unless you soak yourself in water for a few days.

Wally_Z says:

Feb 10, 2011. 12:47 PM REPLY If you actually READ what I wrote you will realize that I said "If the AMPERAGE is high enough, it'll kill you if you let it arc across your heart". Bad read^. AMPERAGE IS THE KEY WORD HERE. Google it if you don't know what that means.

Crapxxas19 says:

Feb 10, 2011. 2:20 PM REPLY You need voltage for amperage to kill!!! I have put my fingers across a 12v 5a source and i didnt feel anything. You need at least 40 volts with moist skin to even feel anything.

Crapxxas19 says:

Feb 11, 2011. 1:53 PM REPLY Think of electricity like water. If you put your finger at the end of the faucet no water flows. This is like low voltage (pressure of water is low) and no amperage (there is no water coming out.) If you are using a hose, there is some water leakage because the pressure is higher so it means that amps are flowing. Basically you need some voltage to make amperage effective enough to kill.

GsE-Lance says:
30mA kills a person at 230v, Ampere = Volts/Resistance, in this case 12v / 1000r (resistance of the skin) Therefore Wally_Z's arguments are invalid.

Mar 10, 2011. 3:47 PM REPLY

Crapxxas19 says:
THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Some people need to know what they are talking about, SERIOUSLY!!!!

Mar 11, 2011. 2:57 PM REPLY

WERNER SLABBERT says:

Jun 10, 2010. 7:16 AM REPLY you might actually try three fans in line. say for argument's sake the first fan gives you one bar of pressure, a second in line would double that to about 2.3 bar of pressure and a third would then daouble that to about 4.6 bar. in theory that is.

XOIIO says:
Can you cut charcoal filters, or does all the charcoal stuff come out?

Jun 2, 2010. 7:31 PM REPLY

MrHyde says:
for more pressure maybe use this http://www.instructables.com/id/Tesla-turbine-from-old-hard-drives-and-minimal-too/

Feb 25, 2009. 6:43 PM REPLY

chamunks says:

Nov 27, 2009. 12:55 AM REPLY I'm curious how you would use this turbine to create pressure or apply the turbine to this. Maybe I'm just browsing instructables too late at night.

lemonshark10 says:
By manually spinning the shaft of a tesla turbine th opposite effect is acheived and pressure is generated

Jan 21, 2010. 7:03 PM REPLY

junits15 says:

Oct 15, 2008. 1:22 PM REPLY an extremely more affective way of making an air purifier is to buy a negative ion generator u can get them here simply put the part with the prongs on it into a continous screen that is wrapped around this. the negative ions attract any type of dirt in the air and cause it to stick to the screen. only downside is that the screen needs to be cleaned every now and then. the negatitave ion generator can also be use to charge a lyden jar! :D

http://www.instructables.com/id/Activated-Carbon-Air-Filter/

junits15 says:
fixed link http://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/prodinfo.asp?number=G1783

Nov 27, 2009. 12:59 PM REPLY

chamunks says:
Broken Link.

Nov 27, 2009. 1:04 AM REPLY

junits15 says:
damn i hate it when that happens!

Nov 27, 2009. 12:56 PM REPLY

chamunks says:
Thank you I definitely appreciate the link fix I will certainly try to incorporate this into something. Do you think this generator could be used in an ion fan build of some kind.

Nov 27, 2009. 1:22 PM REPLY

junits15 says:

Nov 27, 2009. 7:49 PM REPLY im not sure if it would work as an ion fan, I've never personally played much with these things (I have a certain fear of high voltages) and I dont know how powerfull one would have to be to generate an ionic wind, But I wish you good luck anyway!

chamunks says:
amperage is what you need to worry about as long as its not past .87 amps I believe its all good.

Nov 27, 2009. 10:22 PM REPLY

junits15 says:
yes but its still dangerous, especialy if you have a heart problem.

Nov 28, 2009. 10:57 AM REPLY

JusCoz says:
A simple HEPA filter works great, and is a lot cheaper. It also lends a certain interchangability. Cool instructable tho.

Jul 16, 2007. 12:49 AM REPLY

lemonie says:

Jul 16, 2007. 6:49 PM REPLY Activated carbon has an affinity for organics, such as the non-prticulate components of smoke. This is less a particulate filter and more an odour / volatile organics filter. I doubt the effectiveness with pollen, but surely both HEPA and carbon could be used. L

chamunks says:

Nov 27, 2009. 3:03 AM REPLY Certainly could use a hepa filter in this equation could always put a hepa filter Just below the fan inside the box this would also help prevent you're fan from catching all the really tiny dust particles. But Ideally if someone was concerned about really purifying the air the DIY method, one would use three filters. Some reusable/washable filter Than a Charcoal filter for smell and finally a hepa certified filter for biotic and allergenic issues. The reusable/washable filter would catch big dust and hair that can significantly shorten the lifespan of you're Charcoal and Hepa filters. The Charcoal filter was covered in the comments and article so I wont bother but link you here. The carbon specifically used in this ible was from the looks of it classified as GAC Granular Activated Charcoal. Finally the HEPA Certified Filter will get rid of airborn pathogens and the rest of the superfine dust.

Hatty says:

Jul 17, 2007. 9:56 AM REPLY That is true. Activated carbon works on organic gases. The only reason I say it works on pollen is because every time my allergies start going crazy, I stick my face in front of the fan on the filter and my problems go away. There is probably another explanation for this, but it works, so I use it.

Mitten says:
Would activated carbon really do anything for the air? It would seem like there would be a lot of gaps around the carbon.

Jul 15, 2007. 11:13 PM REPLY

monterto says:

Jul 16, 2007. 4:33 PM REPLY there are a lot of carbon filters out there. they are the most effective filters for the price. the activated carbon doesn't catch particles like a sive, it has a high surface area and a high absorption rate so as particles get sucked through the filter and brush passed the carbon they get sucked into the pores of the carbon. Brita water filters work the same way. this is why they need to be changed periodically also.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Activated-Carbon-Air-Filter/

PacoBell says:

Feb 12, 2008. 3:29 PM REPLY Actually, don't activated carbon filters operate on the principle of a_d_sorption rather than a_b_sorption? They rely on their high surface area and the material's surface energy. Wikipedia is your friend :)

chamunks says:

Nov 27, 2009. 2:48 AM REPLY You can also aquire a wide range of activated charcoal size grains so from what looks like gravel (used in this ible) to almost a fine powder. Of course you will have to choose your screens accordingly and airflow can become lessened the finer the powder you choose. Airflow, Purity, Efficiency, Its kind of a pick two scenario, you can have any of these two options but you sacrifice the third.

!Andrew_Modder! says:
cant you make carbon??? i saw in a science book you add something to sulfic acid and carbon is made :-\?

Aug 17, 2007. 5:01 PM REPLY

punkhead58 says:
Um...you can make carbon ash (charcoal) by burning wood, but in this case you need activated charcoal.

Nov 5, 2009. 7:59 AM REPLY

ci857s7 says:

Mar 27, 2008. 11:29 AM REPLY I dont think you can make carbon, unless you do some nuclear fission or fusion of lighter or heavier atomic nuclei. Carbon is an element.

!Andrew_Modder! says:
oh i remember, if you put sugar into a thing of sulfuric acid, you can make carbon! thats all :-)

Mar 27, 2008. 1:20 PM REPLY

Win7Maniac says:

Sep 28, 2009. 4:28 PM REPLY Actually, the carbon is already there; the chemical reaction just separates it and takes it out of the sugar. However, you'd end up with a big, black blob of metal. . . Not much you can or would want to do with that.

Shadowfury says:
Or you could just burn some wood...

Feb 27, 2009. 3:01 PM REPLY

Redgerr says:
that was qutie funny

Jul 20, 2009. 8:48 AM REPLY

amddude says:
lol

Jun 13, 2009. 2:18 PM REPLY

Geekmandude says:

Jan 17, 2010. 7:02 PM REPLY You can activate normal carbon, I have done it. You just heat it. you can also reactivate spent activated carbon the same way, it drives off the impurities it has collected.

nckballer says:
I also forgot to say attach your fan box to the mailing tube

Oct 3, 2009. 12:04 AM REPLY

nckballer says:

Oct 2, 2009. 11:59 PM REPLY For adding another filter instead of using paper to construct a tube just use a 3"x36" Mailing tube you can find it at packaging stores(They are about $5) for this size but get the size you need keep in consideration that I just had the tube laying around, if I were to of bought it, it would be a lot shorter because I just dont need that much! Now back to what I was saying you can attach the tube to your carbon filter box right above the fan(attach it anyway you like glue,tape,whatever)make sure you dont have the tube too big and in the middle of the tube cut it in half this is where you will use some pantyhose and chicken wire to make your carbon filter and at the very take a little cardboard box(or make one) and cut a hole for the fan and mount it on the inside or outside of it and there you go you should now have decent enough pressure to get the air flowing. write me back and tell me what you think!

gilbert2048 says:
this could be good for a solder venting system

Aug 23, 2008. 7:32 PM REPLY

http://www.instructables.com/id/Activated-Carbon-Air-Filter/

Win7Maniac says:
Hey. . . GREAT IDEA!!! I've been wanting something like that for a long time, I can't believe I didn't think of that!

Sep 28, 2009. 4:29 PM REPLY

Hatty says:

Dec 31, 2008. 2:48 PM REPLY It actually does work as a solder venting system. The only problem is that it doesn't suck in air at a high enough velocity to make it effective. Even though it does suck solder fumes in and filter them very well, most of the fumes just go straight to my nose. If I wanted to make one, I would probably only have one side of carbon, use a converging nozzle into the fan, and only use a .25" thick wall of carbon. This would allow for a much greater airflow and, hopefully, pull the fumes away from my face. But, since I don't solder much, I think I can do without it.

Chowmix12 says:

Jun 10, 2010. 5:15 AM REPLY Instead of 4 inlet vents try limiting it to 1 so that the air pressure is not 'diluted' and you will have greater suction towards four soldering station... And also, the fumes going to your face are harmless, after going through the filter... Mar 3, 2009. 11:22 PM REPLY increase venting CFMs (cubic feet per minute, flow rate) by making a grid of four fans to draw the air. or whatever amount is necessary. the air velocity through the filter should be 200 feet per minute, and big enough to catch all the fumes. quick calculation

Andrew Heine says:

gilbert2048 says:
thank you for that, and yes i would use a funnel as well

Jan 11, 2009. 7:10 PM REPLY

view all 73 comments

http://www.instructables.com/id/Activated-Carbon-Air-Filter/