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Standard Test Method for Determination of Butane Activity of Activated Carbon

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Standard Test Method for Determination of Butane Activity of Activated Carbon


1.1 This test method covers determination of the activation level of activated carbon. Butane activity (BA) is defined herein as the ratio (in percent) of the mass of butane adsorbed by an activated carbon sample to the mass of the sample, when the carbon is saturated with butane under the conditions listed in this test method.

1.2 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. The values given in parentheses are for information only.

1.3 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. For a specific warning statement, see 7.1.

Significance and Use

The butane activity as determined by this test method is a measure of the ability of an activated carbon to adsorb butane from dry air under specified conditions. It is useful for the quality control and evaluation of granular activated carbons. The butane activity is an indication of the micropore volume of the activated carbon sample. This activity number does not necessarily provide an absolute or relative measure of the effectiveness of the tested carbon for other adsorbates or at other conditions of operation.

The butane activity test can be used as a non-ozone depleting substitute for the carbon tetrachloride activity test in Test Method D 3467. Fig. 1 shows an experimental correlation of activity values obtained using the two adsorbates.

Note 1—This test has not been designed for use with powdered activated carbon, but it has been used successfully when the flow rate or time are adjusted or the sample volume is decreased to keep the pressure drop at an acceptable value.

FIG. 1 Butane Versus Carbon Tetrachloride Correlation


activated carbon; ICS Number Code 71.040.30 (Chemical reagents)

To find similar documents by ASTM Volume:

15.01 (Refractories, Activated Carbon; Advanced Ceramics)

To find similar documents by classification:

71.040.30 (Chemical reagents Including reference materials)

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Document Number


Revision Level

1995 R05 EDITION



Modification Type


Publication Date

Oct. 1, 2005

Document Type

Test Method

Page Count

4 pages

Committee Number