charcoal and a spoon with carbon

What is the Difference in Activated Carbon Block and Activated Granular Carbon Filters?

Activated carbon consists of organic material with high levels of carbon. The application of extreme heat “activates” the surface area of the carbon. As a result, activated carbon can serve as an effective medium for filtering water and air.

Activated carbon filters don’t just come in one form. For instance, there are activated carbon block filters and activated granular carbon filters.

Neither is universally better than the other. By understanding the differences between the two, you may better determine which is right for your needs.

Key Differences Between Activated Carbon Block and Activated Granular Carbon Filters

The process by which they remove chemicals and contaminants may be essentially the same. However, there are certain essential differences between activated carbon block filters and activated granular carbon filters. They include the following:


As the name implies, the activated carbon in an activated carbon granular filter comes in the form of granules. These granules may vary in size depending on the specific variety in a given filter.

Creating an activated carbon block filter first requires grinding down the activated carbon material. The result is a fine powder that becomes a solid block through compression.

Purification and Filtration Speed

Solid carbon that has been compressed into a block from fine powder form allows for a greater degree of purification than granular carbon. That’s not to say that a solid activated carbon block filter is always ideal.

The solid and compressed nature of an activated carbon block filter can make it difficult for water to pass through it quickly. Thus, while an activated carbon block filter offers more effective filtration than granular activated carbon, it doesn’t work as efficiently.

Granular activated carbon may be sufficient for your purification needs. If fast filtration is more important to you, it might even be the superior option. A fast flow rate may also be essential in certain applications and settings. For example, the slow flow rate of a block filter might not be ideal in a kitchen.


Granular activated carbon filters tend to last longer and remain effective for longer than activated carbon block filters. Consider this if the lifespan of a filter is important to you when assessing your filtration options.

That said, it’s also worth noting that, per the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), one of the benefits of activated carbon is that it may be recyclable. Therefore, even when an activated carbon filter reaches the end of its lifespan, it may be possible to reuse the activated carbon within it.


You must account for certain practical factors when determining what type of filter is right for your purposes. Your budget is one of those factors.

The process of creating a block filter with activated carbon can be somewhat time-consuming. Thus, activated carbon block filters are often more expensive than activated granular carbon filters.

Choosing Between Activated Carbon Block and Activated Granular Carbon Filters: Factors to Consider

Again, the main point to remember is that both of these options offer advantages and disadvantages. The right filtration option for you will depend on your priorities. As always, you can discuss this matter in greater detail with the experts when making a purchase.

Puragen offers activated carbon in the form of granules, pellets, and a fine powder.