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Reference table for activated charcoal carbon efficiency

Please note that some of the contaminants listed in the following table are specific chemical compounds. Some represent classes of compounds, and others are mixtures of variable composition.


The activated carbon capacity for chemical fumes, gas, odours / odors as noted in the table by the numbers 1-4, varies somewhat with the odours / odors concentration in the air with humidity and temperature. The numbers listed in the Index represent typical or average conditions, and might vary in specific instances. These are some of the more common chemicals, gas, fumes, odours / odors that we are asked to address.

Capacity index numbers and descriptions:

Index no.

Capacity / description



high, one pound of carbon can adsorb approx, 20% to 50% of its own weight.

Includes most odor causing substances.


satisfactory, one pound of carbon can adsorb approx, 10% to 20% of its own weight.

capacity is not high as 4


not highly adsorbed

might be taken up sufficiently under particular conditions of operation



activated carbon cannot be used satisfactorily to remove chemical gas under ordinary conditions.

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