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Latest innovations and developments from the applications we serve

The world of activated carbon is remarkably fast-moving and dynamic. We serve several different markets that frequently face changes according to updates in government legislation and regulations, and, alongside this, many that face changes due to developments in technologies and processes. Consequently, we and our customers are continually seeing changes in the multiple application areas that we work within. Below you’ll find a roundup of the most significant changes we’ve seen over the past year at Jacobi.

Energy Storage

With humanity now on an increasingly urgent pursuit to find sustainable energy sources, the energy storage market is growing rapidly. This includes both supercapacitors, used mainly in cars and wind turbines, and batteries, this time used in electric vehicles and for stationary storage. Stationary energy storage is incredibly versatile and can be used for both residential and industrial power sources. Current popular renewable energy options, primarily solar and wind, are weather dependent and don’t store the energy once it has been generated – if you can’t use it immediately then it goes to waste. Helping to work toward a way to store energy is something that fits with our sustainability goals here at Jacobi.

Sustainability is becoming central to everything that we do and to be able to be a part of the worldwide energy transition from fossil fuels to renewables is something that we are keen to do. Activated carbon products for both applications have specific specification requirements and need to be very pure. We are now producing activated carbon, some of the cleanest and purest we’ve ever manufactured, on a commercial scale for supercapacitors whilst working hard to develop our offering for the energy storage market.

I have been in the activated carbon industry for 33 years now, and the energy storage market is the biggest and best opportunity I’ve been involved in in terms of potential size and impact.

Andy McClure

Global Business Development Director

Coconut Pellets

Back in the latter part of 2023, we launched Go Green, our initiative designed to make the most sustainable choice the easiest one for our customers. As part of this, we also launched our coconut-based activated carbon pellets. Historically, coal was the go-to raw material for pellets and for many years we have been providing coal-based pellets, typically for use in vapour treatment, air treatment or the removal of hydrogen sulphide.

Pellets have several benefits for customers, primarily the fact they are very clean with low dust levels and that they save on energy costs as smaller fans are needed to push air through in comparison to granulated carbon. We are delighted to be able to offer customers coconut-based carbon products that are the same size and shape, and bring all the same advantages you’d expect with a pellet, but now made from a renewable source. We know that our customers care just as much about sustainability and the protection of our planet as we do, so this move toward a sustainably sourced pellet is positive news for both parties.

“These are the first products to come out under this initiative and so they are historic and important,” said Andy McClure. “We want these products to succeed because we have great plans to extend the concept to a number of product lines, applications and markets, where we can offer a sustainable alternative to a fossil fuel-based product.”

Renewable Reactivation

As part of our focus on sustainability, we allocate a significant amount of time and resources to developing and improving our reactivation offering. By reactivating spent carbon we can lower costs for our customers alongside lowering negative environmental impacts (in comparison to purchasing solely virgin carbon). One way we are able to improve on this process is by offering renewable reactivation for our drinking water customers.

For decades coal-based carbon has been used to treat drinking water. This has been the favoured product thanks to its larger pore size which enables the carbon to adsorb larger materials, for example organics, which need to be removed from drinking water. When spent carbon is reactivated, a small amount, between 10 and 20%, needs to be replaced with virgin carbon. For this make up, we offer our customers the option of using some coconut-based carbon which has a higher microporosity and is produced from a sustainable raw material. It is common knowledge that coal, which has taken millions of years to form, is a finite resource, whereas coconuts can be grown in a matter of months and are renewable. By adding a small portion of microporous carbon, the newly reactivated carbon plus the make up carbon now performs to the customer’s original specification whilst also being the far more sustainable option.

Our customers, in particular drinking water customers, are increasingly looking to us to help us to improve the sustainability of their practices and renewable reactivation provides an option with a lower carbon footprint as well as excellent value for money.

Jan Reinier Gosker

Business Director, Jacobi Services EMEA

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