Activated Charcoal

Activated Charcoal is THE emergency medicine for every serious acute disease from virus to poisonings and everything else.

Regular Charcoal (preferably hardwood as it is low in heavy metals) can also work in emergency situations where activated charcoal is not available, it will just take more to have the same effect. Also acid washing the charcoal can help if done properly.

How to make

Activated charcoal is made by powdering hardwood (preferably) charcoal and then oxidizing with nitric acid (which can be made with just mixing potassium nitrate and phosphoric acid) which both dissolves metals and minerals from the carbon structure, and also creates channels in the carbon increasing surface area. It is then washed to remove much of the acid and acid dissolved minerals. The powder is then neutralized with sodium or potassium hydroxide solution and washed several times. After the neutralization the powder should want to stay suspended for long periods of time without settling. Washing can be done by centrifugation or filtering.

Acid washed charcoal

Acid washed charcoal can be made similarly by powdering charcoal and then mixing with an acid solution. This acid can be phosphoric acid, sulfuuric acid, acetic acid, citric acid, even hydrochloric acid, or pretty much anything else. The goal is to dissolve out the minerals in the charcoal both reducing the heavy metals present and also increasing the carbon surface area. Afterwards it should be washed, and neutralized with an alkali like above.

Optimum pH

Lead removal around pH 5 [1]

Ph 5 or higher works for most heavy metals [2].

Add charcoal at acidic ph then raise ph near neutral [3].

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