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N a n o C a r b
versus other carbon block filters
I n t r o d u c t i o n ...

First, to understand any filter comparison, you should be acquainted with the terms "nominal" and "absolute".

Absolute rating means, nothing above the rated level will pass through the medium. Absolute is usually used to identity filters which will be destined for bacteria or virus protection.

Nominal rating means that 80% of particles above the rated level will be held back. This means 20% of the rated level will pass through the filter.

Also, you should realize that a lot of filter specifications are produced after only running a few hundred liters of water. Not NanoCarb. NanoCarb filters perform throughout their service life, which ends when the filter no longer permits water to pass. No guessing, true anti-overuse, simple and safe.

O t h e r C a r b o n B l o c k s..

Regular carbon block matrix filters (which are the well known brands), are manufactured through the continuous extrusion method. This method produces carbon block material with ratings of 1 to 20 (or sometimes higher) micron(s). These filters are rarely identified as either nominal or absolute. Most of these are nominal ratings which many do not indicate explicitly in their literature. This may add to the confusion for the general public.

The magical outer wrap!

These carbon block types are then wrapped (covered) with a layer of absolute membrane material in order to then claim to be 1.0 to 0.5 to 0.2 micron absolute. So the actual viral barrier is assured by a thin (probably 1/8" or less) membrane material which is put under full force of the water entry. These same membranes are usually used in a pleated configuration in order to lower the surface stress of the incoming water flow. But with carbon block, these membranes can only have the outer surface area to lower this same applied stress, which then increases chances for viral passage. Some use more than one layer, but at the end of the day, these are merely attempts to delay the inevitable passage of micro-organisms. Also, many of these filters will not specifically identify the absolute rating of both the outer wrap and the carbon block in order to make it seem like the total filter offers the highest rating.

In most cases, Regular carbon block filters will have a notice on the label in very small print indicating that "the filter should not be used where the water may be of micro-biologically unknown quality". Yes but, what if your city water gets that way with some viruses or parasites. What happens then?

N a n o C a r b

The secret of NanoCarb filters is all in a patented and unique sintered process... the only one of its kind in the World.

No other carbon block filter is manufactured by sintering a coconut carbon powder bound by micro-particles of food grade polymer (gur). This precision batch process produces a carbon block material that is so dense, this would explain why a 10" NanoCarb filter actually weighs in at a hefty 1.50 lbs. This carbon density, bound by the micro polymers, forces water through restricted avenues in the carbon matrix. 

The matrix is so dense and the passivity is so selective, that its micron rating through-out the filter material is an astounding 0.45 micron absolute (or 0.20 micron absolute with bubble test which most companies use to rate their filters).

With an unequaled and generous radial depth (outer surface to inner core) of 7/8", and NanoCarb's absolute rating of 0.45 micron, NanoCarb means no bacteria and viruses. Such organisms simply cannot make their way through every nick and cranny to then pass through. They get caught inside the filter and eventually, unable to grow because of such  tight quarters, most will simply die.

Hence, and not surprisingly, Polio virus (the smallest known virus) lab testing has shown during a six month study that no passage was evident under normal, on/off real life conditions.

Depending on the overall initial water quality, NanoCarb filters can be used alone, or in double or triple filter housing configurations. Because NanoCarb filters are more expensive than standard carbon block filters, you can use a three stage system consisting of a 1 micron (nominal) sediment depth filter, a 1 micron (nominal) regular known brand carbon block filter and finish off with a 0.45 micron (absolute) NanoCarb filter. This will ensure longer service runs per NanoCarb cartridge. 

Also, since the NanoCarb (1:1 ratio) system does not waste water like reverse osmosis does (5:1 ratio), the prefilters will not be over taxed. What you consume is what is filtered, when you wish to consume. So all filters last much longer.

More About  NanoCarb?

1. How is NanoCarb manufactured?
2. How does NanoCarb compare to others?
3. Some interesting NanoCarb observations.
4. What type of performance can you expect?
5. How long will a NanoCarb filter last?
6. What filter housing can I use?
7. What will NanoCarb eliminate?
8. Will hardness clog a NanoCarb filter?
9. Should you use a NanoCarb?
10. Would you benefit with NanoCarb?
11. What are some NanoCarb uses?
12. The best alternative to Reverse Osmosis!

1. How is NanoCarb manufactured?

The NANOCARB manufacturing process involves the use of coconut shell carbon which is reduced to microscopic nano-powder. The carbon powder is then activated by high intensity steam in order to create micro-cracks with millions of filtering channels in each particle. The gradients of these micro-cracks are as follows:

  • the macro-pores at 0.1 micron 
  • the meso-pores at 0.01 micron 
  • the micro-pores at 0.003 micron 
Once the carbon micro fines are activated, a food grade cross linked polymer plastic is used to finely bind the carbon particles together. This ensures the uniform cohesion of the filtering media throughout the entire cartridge form and forces water through the micro-cracks in the activated carbon. This patented method employs proprietary sub-processes which produce the world's finest and most effective carbon filter on the market. Nothing comes close to the filtration and adsorption capabilities of  NANOCARB.

As illustrated in the diagram below, water enters the filtering medium and the polymer binding ensures that water is channeled through the microscopic carbon particles which trap bacteria and other living organisms while also absorbing chemicals.

2. How does NanoCarb compare to other similar filters?

NANOCARB's uniqueness stems from the fact that the filtration block or structure is entirely made of activated carbon which by itself achieves a mechanical filtration of 0.45 micron absolute and an adsorption level of 0.003 micron. No other filter on the market can achieve this since they use other means to filter out particles down to 0.5 micron whatever.

The section below explains how the most widely used similar filters function compared to NanoCarb.
Standard mono-block
  • Water enters (A) and passes through a thin layer of 0.3 to 0.5 micron outer film (yellow), and then rushes through standard activated carbon block material (B). 
  • Protection against microorganisms, bacteria and viruses is limited by the the depth of the first thin film (yellow), which renders such filters extremely vulnerable to perforation and over usage. 
  • This type of filter is not recommended where water is of microbiologically unsafe or unsure quality.
Ceramic and activated carbon block
  • Water enters (A) and passes through a layer of 0.3 to 0.5 micron porous ceramic solid material (yellow), and passes through a small layer of activated carbon block material (B). 
  • Protection against micro-organisms, bacteria and viruses is by the the depth of the first ceramic layer (yellow), leaving far less room for the activated carbon to remove chemicals, which then limits its usable service life. 
  • This type of filter is not recommended where water is of microbiologically unsafe or unsure quality.
NanoCarb mono-block
  • Water enters (A) and passes through a thin layer of 5 micron pre filtration (yellow) only to keep larger particles off the carbon surface, and passes through the NanoCarb activated carbon block material (B) which is entirely able to mechanically filter micro-orgamisms and particles down to 0.45 micron absolute.
  • Bacterial and chemical protection is assured by the complete carbon filter depth (B) making it impossible for these organisms to pass through the filter. Plus NanoCarb will absorb chemicals and other synthetic molecules down to 0.003 micron which is in the nanofiltration spectrum. 
  • NanoCarb filters can be used where the water is microbiologically unsure.

3. Some interesting NanoCarb observations...
- NANOCARB is 8% Mass Carbon and 92% Filtration/Adsorption Space. It can hold 5 to 6 times its mass.

- A NANOCARB filter has a surface area equal to about 11 professional soccer fields.

- One gram of NANOCARB material has a surface area of 16,146 square feet (1500 square meters).

- Water traveling through the NANOCARB filter wall of 0.78th of an inch is equal to traveling a distance of 656 feet (200 meters) in human terms.

4. What type of performance can you expect with NanoCarb?

This revolutionary and unique process replaces nanofiltration at 0.003 microns due to the capacity of filtration by adsorption (passage of a liquid in a solid).

The resulting production of NANOCARB filtration systems is used mainly by the general public for Point-of-Use (POU) applications, without using silver salts (such as silver impregnated carbon which is known as being cancer causing).

NANOCARB filtration systems purify the water by removing all;

  • tastes and odors, including chlorine 
  • chemicals 
  • colors 
  • suspended limestone particles (particulate hardness) 
  • heavy metals 
  • herbicides and pesticides 
  • micro-organisms, bacteria, spores, viruses, etc. 
NANOCARB filtration cartridges provide the most effective filtration possible in a one pass filtration/adsorption process, making it a real convenience for anyone wanting to obtain instant top quality water filtration in a standard and easy to use in/out filter housing configuration.

5. How long will a NanoCarb filter last, how fast does it produce purified water and what are it's dimensions?

The duration of the NANOCARB cartridge depends on the water quality with typical production ranging from 2000 to 4000(7,500 to 15,000 liters).

The flow rate through the filter will decrease with time until there is no more flow. When the flow decreases, it is possible that the cartridge is saturated. In this instance, it is possible to brush the exterior surface of the cartridge in order to eliminate any obvious large impurities. If the flow still does not increase, simply replace the NANOCARB cartridge.

The actual flow rate through the cartridge will depend on available water pressure. Typical flow rates for NANOCARB cartridges based on an inlet water pressure of 58 PSI (4 bar) are as follows :

NanoCarb Filter Model
per minute
per minute
Filter Dim.
Weight lb.
Filter Dim.
Weight kg.
Waterline or NanoCarb
NC-254 Filter
0.34 to 0.45 
1.3 to 1.7
Dia: 2.75 
Long: 9.84
1.1 lb.
Dia: 70
Long: 250
0.50 kg.

Based on current performance results over many years in Europe and in Canada, we can easily summarize that a NANOCARB filter will last more than one year under normal household usage. Replacement of the filter cartridge takes less than five minutes.

6. What filter housing can I use with a NanoCarb NC-254 filter?

Our NANOCARB NC-254 filter is manufactured to standard North American dimensions in order to fit standard 10" filter housings which are commonly available on the market. This means you can use the NANOCARB NC-254 cartridge in your existing filtration systems, such as; regular counter-top units, under-counter single and dual filter units, as well as in the post-filtration section of reverse osmosis units, or even to modify a reverse osmosis unit to become a simpler to maintain NANOCARB system.

The NANOCARB NC-254 filter will render any filtration system, a top of the line unit. Most of our USA clients already have their dual or triple filtration system.

7. What will a NanoCarb water filter eliminate? 

As the name implies, NANOCARB achieves both 0.45 micron filtration with 0.003 micron adsorption, which removes almost all particulate from water, while leaving essential trace minerals in the water supply. Contaminants such as chlorine, color, lead, tannin, limestone particles, iron, manganese, chlorides, pesticides, herbicides, and all bacterial, viral and spore types are eliminated once the source water has passed through a NANOCARB filter. Your can view our Lab Test Page for more information.

8. Will hardness in water clog a NanoCarb filter? 

No. Simply speaking, NANOCARB filtration will only slightly reduce hardness in water. This is because the filter removes the particulate hardness (the building blocks of scale formation) and all other physical elements but not the ionic hardness. Although a test for hardness will show a reduction, the remaining hardness will not be able to produce hardness scale formations.

9. How do you know if you should use a NanoCarb filter? 

There is a simple answer such as Yes, everyone should have a NANOCARB filter for all water consumption, regardless of good or bad water, but simply as a safe barrier between your water consumption and the water supply itself. No one can be too careful and just by having water go through a NANOCARB filter is definitely the right thing to do.

The other answer is more complicated and would depend on your water analysis. There would be one exception and that is, if your water has high Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), which are really at their ionic size, like sodium, calcium, chlorides and carbonates, then you would have to use a Reverse Osmosis (RO) unit first and put a NANOCARB filter where the RO units' current cheaper powdered carbon filter is located. This will ensure no contamination can come from the reverse osmosis holding tank. RO units are very demanding to maintain and neglect often results in worse water than the regular water itself, so you have to be vigilant with RO.

10. Here are some general guidelines to determine if you would benefit from the use of a NanoCarb filter:

  • Yes if your water is supplied by a municipal water treatment plant. 
  • Yes if your water is pumped from a lake. 
  • Yes if your water is pumped from a well and meets the following maximum levels of contaminants. 
    • 0.5 parts per million (ppm) of iron and
    • 0.2 parts per million (ppm) of manganese and
    • 500 ppm of Total Dissolved Solids and
    • 250 ppm of hardness and
    • 250 ppm of chlorides
Note: The above specs do not mean your should not use NanoCarb 
if your water is above these levels. It simply means your NanoCarb filter 
will work but the service life would be lower than anticipated. 

11. What are some of the uses for NanoCarb filters?

Some of the obvious uses for NANOCARB include:

  • Superior and simple water filtration and bacterial check 
  • Combined systems to replace reverse osmosis and U.V. type technologies. 
  • Post carbon for reverse osmosis systems to ensure polishing and removal of bacterial, viral and spore type organisms. 
  • Effective and simple method of testing large scale nanofiltration methods which require up to 0.003 micron separation. 
  • Laboratory pre or post nanofiltration and bacterial check requirements. 
  • Ice making machines (one filter does it all). 
  • Integrated into emergency potable water systems. 
  • And more.
NanoCarb filters replace the use of the following filters or systems.
Rust or Sediment Screen Iron and Manganese
Granular Activated Carbon Carbon Block Silver Impregnated Carbon
Ceramic Ceramic Carbon Ceramic Silver Carbon
Ultraviolet Sterilization Light KDF Media Nano-Filtration Elements
Absolute Micron Pleated Iodinated Resin Bacterial

12. NanoCarb is the best alternative to Reverse Osmosis

Although Reverse Osmosis offers the best filtration in terms of pore size at 0.001 micron range, NANOCARB filters provide the best alternative for end users who do not really require the use of Reverse Osmosis to obtain purified water. We do not want to state that this is an absolute observation, but in situations where the TDS level is not of major concern, NANOCARB provides a very very good alternative with added advantages, most important of which is the fact that it does not waste water.

For areas where water conservation is of prime importance, NANOCARB will provide the best filtration/adsorption possible without wasting water.

Here are some other drawbacks which we have noticed over the many years which we have been in the water treatment business.

Domestic or Light Commercial 
Reverse Osmosis Systems
1 System gets clogged up if under bad conditions, since there is only a 5 micron preflight to provide protection to an extremely tight reverse osmosis thin film membrane. Exterior can be cleaned for continued usage until fully saturated.
2 Produces water very slowly. About 0.02 liters per minutes (drip drip).  Produces up to 1.5 liters per minute. No need to wait for pure water.
3 Requires yearly, rather involved sterilisation procedure or there could develop considerable bacterial build-up in the holding tank and post filtration system. No holding tank or post-filtration required for general usage.
4 Holding tank losses pressure over time. No holding tank required.
5 System is expensive to buy and to undertake yearly filter changes and maintenance. This is left to the user to determine when, and most often, users neglect their systems. Very cost effective and simple filter change as per required intervals which are determined by no flow condition. This eliminates possibility of negligent use.
6 Difference of RO's 0.001 micron versus 0.003 micron for NanoCarb is minimal since most of the contaminants are larger than 0.003. NanoCarb's high filtration and adsorption level provides the ultimate in/out filtration which standard nano-filtration cannot provide for long-term usage.
7 Although not a real concern for the pro's, R.O. removes all trace minerals which some people believe are important to the body. NanoCarb lets trace minerals pass through the filter.
8 Is affected by osmotic pressure, thus additional pressure is required. Requires minimal pressure to start producing purified water.
9 Wastes 4/5th's of total water flow. So 4/5th's of the pre filtered water is wasted. No waste of water. If pre filtration is used, such filters will only process the demand, and not put filtered water to drain.

NanoCarb Inc.
954a Labelle, St-Jérôme, Québec Canada J7Z-5M8
Tel.: 450-565-8408 * Fax: 450-565-4691
info(at) nanocarb.com
Please replace the word (at) with @.