Carbon Adsorbents

Carbon adsorbents, depicted as shiny black spheres of various sizes against a yellow background, representing the porous structure utilized in filtration and purification processes.

We have more than 50 years of experience in carbon and resin adsorbents research and product development. Our full line of specialty carbon adsorbents includes Carbon Molecular Sieves (Carboxen® and Carbosieve™), Spherical Graphitized Polymer Carbon (Graphsphere™), and Graphitized Carbon Black (Carbotrap® and Carbopack™) adsorbents. We also offer sampler kits, a cost-effective way to evaluate several of our specialty carbon adsorbents.

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Carboxen® Adsorbents

The Carboxen® synthetic carbon adsorbents are highly engineered derivatized resins. They have a tapered pore structure from macro- to meso- to microporous. The tapered pores improve the adsorbent’s kinetic and thermodynamic efficiency. Particles are spherical for optimal packed bed efficiency. The highly engineered derivatized resins have excellent attrition resistance enabling high flow rates without undesired backpressure buildup. They have been developed to withstand pressure up to 16,000 psi. They are stable up to 400 ˚C and have customizable surface chemistries for specific target analysis. Their high purity, spherical shape, and outstanding mechanical properties make them well suited for use in preparative and process chromatography. The materials are stored as dry beads and flow like a liquid, making handling and chromatography column packing easy as compared to wet resins.

The pH of Carboxen® Synthetic Carbons can be tailored from 2.5 to 10.5. As they are produced from a synthetic source, Carboxen® Synthetic Carbons are inherently free of heavy metals and other inorganic content found in naturally derived adsorbents. Carboxen® Synthetic Carbon adsorbents are scalable, meaning ton quantities of these adsorbents in 20/40, 20/45, or 30/45 mesh can be produced. Smaller particle-sized Carboxen® products are offered on a small scale.

These derivatized resins bring value to a wide range of purification applications for removing both small and large molecule impurities. They find use in both gas and liquid phase purifications. Some examples include removal of high-risk impurities in biochemical purifications such as host cell proteins, removal of toxic heavy metals, purification of chlorinated metals, purification of APIs, and removal of extractables and leachables.

They have been trusted by NASA on several missions including their current use on the International Space Station.

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Material properties of the eight Carboxen® Synthetic Carbon available on the bulk scale are given in the below table.

Carboxen® Synthetic Carbon Material Properties 

Carbosieve® Adsorbents

The Carbosieve® adsorbents are carbon molecular sieves having non-tapered pores. With a microporous structure, they offer very strong adsorptive strengths. Carbosieve® adsorbents offer excellent retention of small and volatile analytes that most other adsorbents have difficulty retaining. 

Graphitized Carbon Black

Graphitized carbon black based Carbopack™ and Carbotrap® adsorbents are non-porous and non-specific adsorbents that exhibit high surface homogeneity. The high purity of these adsorbents ensures effective desorption of the analyte of interest. They exhibit hydrophobic surface characteristics and, therefore, can be effectively used in trapping organic compounds in humid streams. Trapped compounds can be desorbed by a solvent or thermal desorption with 100% desorption efficiency. These adsorbents offer excellent thermal stability, ensure minimal bleed at thermal desorption temperatures, and prevent high pressure-drop.

Graphsphere™ Adsorbents

The spherical graphitized polymer carbon (Graphsphere™) has a unique structure with an amorphous core and graphitic outer shell of controlled thickness. The graphitization process results in a highly pure surface with unique adsorption and desorption properties. The surface interactions solely depend on dispersion (London) forces. The materials are:

  • Spherical (offer better-packed bed performance than granular particles)
  • Hard and non-friable
  • Used for molecules with an analyte size relative to C5-C12 n-alkanes
  • Hydrophobic (can be used in high humidity environments)

Graphsphere™ adsorbents offer weaker relative adsorptive strength compared to carbon molecular sieve type adsorbents, and similar relative adsorptive strength compared to graphitized carbon black adsorbents.

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