The Science Behind XActive™ Carbon

Over the years we have been perfecting our activated charcoal / carbon offering to what manufacturers need; easy handling, GMP friendly, and the removal of the right compounds. Afterall, carbon is our namesake so ours better be good, right?

Well, we think you will like what we have come up with… Introducing our new XActive™ Carbon!

The What

XActive™ Carbon is an activated charcoal media derived from coconut shells, that is used to remove adsorbates, like colored and toxic compounds, from your product solutions.

This activated charcoal is granular which makes it far less dusty to transfer and use. This media is exceptional at adsorbing non-polar compounds.

XActive™ Carbon has the excellent performance of strong acidic activation, and yet minimal risk of unintentional isomerization of your cannabinoids, due to its low free acid and nearly neutral pH.

Why Carbon Chemistry Likes XActive™:

Activated charcoal (AC) is the oldest and most widely used adsorbent material. AC is made almost entirely of carbon in its “graphitic” form (i.e., the crystalline solid “allotrope” of carbon known as graphite). 

Organic Chemistry

Because carbon is the elemental basis of “organic” chemistry and thereby almost all “non-polar” compounds, activated charcoal is the simplest and most common material that can directly adsorb non-polar molecules. 

Granular media is easier 

Granular media is easier to work with than powder in terms of transferability, filterability, its usage with gases as well as liquids, and cleanliness.  A smooth, hard, tiny pellet that has a regularly porous macrostructure and microstructure is the ideal for adsorbents. 

This coconut shell derived activated charcoal has all these properties except for the uniform shape of pelletized media, which is as close as we can get to perfect without having to raise the price of the product exorbitantly. 

High levels of the types and sizes of pores needed for processer

XActive™ Carbon is ideal for the needs of Cannabis processors because it has high levels of the types and sizes of pores needed for processers in pesticide elimination, decoloring, and removal of toxic elements. 

This medium also has food & pharmaceutical grade chemical purity from natural coconut husk, so it works in regulated GMP facilities to make products fit for human consumption. Unlike food-grade hardwood AC, which can cause treated products to smell like “barbecue” (especially at higher temperatures), coconut-derived AC has no residual odors.

The Science Behind XActive™ Carbon

Activated charcoal is one of the only NON-polar adsorbents, so it is best suited for removing non-polar adsorbates, such as the innumerable saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbon molecules and moieties (molecular parts) in biological matter.  For example, it adsorbs chlorophyll better than other media!

Clay is one of numerous polar adsorbents, i.e., it has electrically charged regions.

Our granular activated charcoal (GAC) has surface area on par with powdered activated charcoals (PAC), but in a hard granular form, so it is cleaner (less dusty mess) and simpler to use than PAC.

Adsorption testing

Adsorption testing of this specific AC shows very high scores for CCl4 & Benzene, indicating high affinity for organic halides and over 50% mesoporosity, respectively. These results are strong indicators of performance in Cannabis applications.

XActive™ Carbon has been washed to have very low free acid (<0.1%) and nearly neutral pH, yet it has the chemisorption activity of a highly acidic AC. This means superb performance and low risk of accidentally catalyzing the isomerization of cannabinoids upon heating after XActive™ is filtered out of product solutions.

The starting material for carbonization of AC has immense importance because the material’s microscopic structure is directly proportionally transferred to the charred state.  The differences between the major GAC source materials—coal, wood, and coconut shell—are comparable to the differences between grains of sand, silica gel, and diatomaceous earth, respectively.

Why did we go with a coconut shell?

A dense non-porous solid like coal will gain some porosity in the charring process, but not very much, which is why coal-based GAC is made by pulverizing the harcoal and “reagglomerating” the powder into granules.  A porous sponge material like wood will char into a randomly porous carbon.

A fine microstructural network as is found in coconut shell will become a skeletal latticework of carbon. Using this shell provides the ideal microstructure of high surface area and porosity.

Have more questions regarding XActive™? Give us a call or email us. We would be more than happy to discuss this and any other questions you have.

From the Carbon Chemistry Team