Commonly Used Terms in the Gas / Air / Water Filtration Media Industry


Activated Alumina

is a granular material with ion exchange properties. Activated alumina is used as a desiccant as well as a filtrate for select pollutants.

Activated Carbon

charcoal that has been heated or otherwise treated to increase its adsorptive power.


a substance (typically a solid) that adsorbs another. An adsorbent extracts a pollutant from liquid or gas phases and attaches them to medias such as activated carbon or activated alumina.


is the adhesion of atoms, ions, or molecules from a gas, liquid, or dissolved solid to a surface. Not to be confused with absorption; Absorption is when the constituent of concern enters the solid.


Aluminum is the most abundant metal in the earth's crust and is obtained mainly from bauxite. Its lightness, resistance to corrosion, and strength (esp. in alloys) have led to widespread use in domestic utensils, engineering parts, and aircraft construction.


an organic compound derived from ammonia by replacement of one or more hydrogen atoms by organic groups.


is a hard, compact variety of mineral coal that has a high luster. It has the highest carbon content, the fewest impurities, and the highest calorific content of all types of coal, which also include bituminous coal and lignite.

Arsenic Removal

a metallic element that forms a number of poisonous compounds, arsenic is found in nature at low levels mostly in compounds with oxygen, chlorine, and sulfur.


the action or process of gradually reducing the strength or effectiveness of someone or something through sustained attack or pressure.



refers to the accumulation of substances, such as pesticides, or other chemicals in an organism.


an acronym that stands for benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene, and xylenes.



Cadmium occurs naturally in zinc ores and is obtained as a byproduct of zinc smelting. It is used as a component in low melting point alloys and as a corrosion-resistant coating on other metals.


a substance capable of causing cancer in living tissue.


exchange occurs when two or more positively charged compounds or elements exchange places on a negatively charged host.

Cationic Surfactants

are basically soaps or detergents, in which the hydrophilic, or water-loving, end contains a positively-charged ion, or cat ion.

Caustic Soda

(Sodium Hydroxide) is a highly corrosive, odorless, non-flammable white solid.


is a kind of adsorption which involves a chemical reaction between the surface and the adsorbent. New chemical bonds are generated at the adsorbent surface.


a salt of chromic acid.


the chemical element of atomic number 24, a hard white metal used in stainless steel and other alloys.


is a natural zeolite comprising a micro porous arrangement of silica and alumina tetrahedral


able to catch fire and burn easily.


a red-brown metal, the chemical element of atomic number 29.


the ion that accompanies an ionic species in order to maintain electric neutrality.



a hygroscopic substance used as a drying agent.


the process of becoming progressively worse.


Environmental Remediation

refers to reducing radiation exposure, for example, from contaminated soil, groundwater or surface water. The purpose is more than just eliminating radiation sources; it is about protecting people and the environment against potential harmful effects from exposure to ionizing radiation.

Ethylene Glycol

Ethylene glycol is commonly used as coolant for air conditioning systems. The compound has a chemical formula of C2H6O2. The raw material is use in the manufacture of polyester fiber and antifreeze formulations.


Filtration Media

two main types of filter media are employed in any chemical laboratory— Surface Filter, a solid sieve which traps the solid particles, with or without the aid of filter paper and a depth filter, a bed of granular material which retains the solid particles as it passes. The first type allows the solid particles, i.e. the residue, to be collected intact; the second type does not permit this.

Fullers Earth

clay that is commonly used for decolorizing liquids.



a metric unit of mass equal to one thousandth of a kilogram.


resembling or consisting of small grains or particles.


a small compact particle of a substance.



tools, machinery, and other durable equipment.


are the simplest organic compounds . Containing only carbon and hydrogen, they can be straight-chain, branched chain, or cyclic molecules.


relating to or denoting the equilibrium of liquids and the pressure exerted by liquid at rest.



to soak or saturate (something) with a substance.


the chemical element of atomic number 53, a nonmetallic element forming black crystals and a violet vapor.



the SI unit of mass, equivalent to the international standard kept at Sèvres near Paris (approximately 2.205 lb).



a heavy, bluish-gray, soft, ductile metal, the chemical element of atomic number 82. It has been used in roofing, plumbing, ammunition, storage batteries, radiation shields, etc., and its compounds have been used in crystal glass, as an antiknock agent in gasoline, and (formerly) in paints.

Liquid Filtration

filtration is commonly the mechanical or physical operation which is used for the separation of solids from fluids (liquids or gases) by interposing a medium through which only the fluid can pass. The fluid that passes through is called the filtrate.



the chemical element of atomic number 80, a heavy silvery-white metal that is liquid at ordinary temperatures.

Mohs Scale

a scale of hardness used in classifying minerals. It runs from 1 to 10 using a series of reference minerals, and a position on the scale depends on the ability to scratch minerals rated lower.

Molecular Sieve

a crystalline substance (especially a zeolite) with pores of molecular dimensions that permit the passage of molecules below a certain size.



a silvery-white metal, the chemical element of atomic number 28.


a salt or ester of nitric acid, containing the anion NO 3- or the group —NO 3.



an organically modified phyllosilicate, derived from a naturally occurring clay mineral. By exchanging the original interlayer cations for organocations (typically quaternary alkylammonium ions) an organophilic surface is generated, consisting of covalently linked organic moieties.


is the spontaneous net movement of solvent molecules through a partially permeable membrane into a region of higher solute concentration, in the direction that tends to equalize the solute concentrations on the two sides.


combine or become combined chemically with oxygen.



the general name for a chemical compound containing the manganate ion,. Because manganese is in the +7 oxidation state, the permanganate ion is a strong oxidizing agent.


allowing liquids or gases to pass through.


A technique for remediating contaminated water. For this method, water is typically pumped out of the ground to a large vessel. The large vessel or series of vessels treats the water. The water is than put back into the ground.



fourth in order or rank; belonging to the fourth order. A quaternary compound is a compound which is positively charged with four substituents.



an industrial installation where a substance is refined.


the action or process of forming of new animal or plant tissue.


the action of remedying something, in particular of reversing or stopping environmental damage.



a crystalline acid analogous to sulfuric acid, made by oxidizing certain selenium compounds.

Soil Vapor Extraction (SVE)

Soil Vapor Extraction (SVE) is a remediation technique for removing volatile contaminants in soil. SVE extracts the vapors from the soil using vacuum. The extracted vapors are then treated to remove the harmful volatile contaminants.


the property of a solid, liquid, or gaseous chemical substance called solute to dissolve in a solid, liquid, or gaseous solvent to form a homogeneous solution of the solute in the solvent.


absorption and adsorption considered as a single process.


is the surface that which chemical reactions are performing on. For example, phosphoric acid may be impregnated on two different substrates: activated carbon or zeolite.



is a toxicity characteristic leaching procedure (TCLP). The TCLP procedure is a method for analyzing a sample of soil to determine if a waste is characterized as hazardous. The test method simulates leaching in a landfill. TCLP procedure can be found on U.S. EPA website SW-846 Test Method 1311.


is an oxyanion of sulfur.


is the degree to which a substance can damage an organism

Trimethyl Ammonium

are a type of quaternary ammonium compound with three methyl groups at the nitrogen, with a more complicated carbon chain derivative at the fourth position.



a gaseous substance that is below its critical temperature, and can therefore be liquefied by pressure alone.


a hollow container, especially one used to hold liquid, such as a bowl or cask.


denoting the unsaturated hydrocarbon radical —CH=CH 2, derived from ethylene by removal of a hydrogen atom.



any of a large group of minerals consisting of hydrated aluminosilicates of sodium, potassium, calcium, and barium. They can be readily dehydrated and rehydrated, and are used as cat ion exchangers and molecular sieves.


the chemical element of atomic number 30, a silvery-white metal that is a constituent of brass and is used for coating (galvanizing) iron and steel to protect against corrosion. This substance is naturally found in water. Zinc is found in water due to natural processes and human impact. As a result of mining and steel production high concentrations of zinc may impact water discharges.

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