Calgon Carbon activated carbon purifies air, water & protects U.S. military against chemical warfare

May 29, 2015


Calgon Carbon's Pearlington Plant in Port Bienville Industrial Park produces approximately 40 million to 50 million pounds of granular and powdered activated carbon annually. The carbon is used in purification systems for air, drinking water, wastewater, manufacturing and more than 700 applications, including protecting U.S. military personnel.

With corporate headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pa., Calgon Carbon is the world's largest producer of granular activated carbon and it supplies more than 100 types of products designed to protect human health and the environment from harmful contaminants in the air and water.

The Hancock County plant, which opened in 1992, operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is run by a self-directed work team of 43 full-time employees, including production and lab workers on 12-hour rotating shifts.

The plant has a staff of five but no traditional supervisors or foremen. "It's the team that's basically running the plant," said Plant Manager Jim Lewis. "We were the company's first self directed work team environment and we started that way from the plant's opening more than 23 years ago."

The carbon produced at Port Bienville is either sold directly to customers or sent for subsequent processing into end-products at other Calgon Carbon sites or third-party locations.

"We make a variety of activated carbons that are differentiated by particle size and adsorption levels," said Lewis.

Potable water treatment is a major application for activated carbon and material produced at Port Bienville is used in small scale home water treatment systems and large scale municipal treatment systems.

"Our product is used in water filtration systems in many communities throughout the world," said Lewis.

In 2013 the plant produced approximately 13 million pounds of activated carbon for municipal water treatment facilities throughout the city of Phoenix, Arizona.  More recently, the plant has supplied large quantities of activated carbon for municipal water treatment systems in Asia.  The Port Bienville location is convenient to the Port of New Orleans and many of the plant's products are exported to Europe and Asia.

Hancock County-produced activated carbon is also used to process some common items found in the pantry. It is used to decolorize corn sweeteners and treat the water used by soft drink makers and beer brewers. "It can be used in most processes that seek to remove organic impurities in food products," Lewis said.

Calgon Carbon also supplies 100 percent of the carbons used to protect U.S. military

personnel against chemical and biological warfare. "Our plant makes the feedstock carbon that is sent to our facility near Pittsburgh for additional processing.  That product is then shipped to third parties where it is loaded into gas mask canisters, vehicle canisters and filtration systems for buildings," Lewis said.




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