Activated carbon, also called activated charcoal, is a form of carbon processed to have small, low-volume pores that increase the surface area available for adsorption or chemical reactions Activated is sometimes substituted with active.
Due to its high degree of microporosity, one gram of activated carbon has a surface area in excess of 3,000 m2 (32,000 sq ft) as determined by gas adsorption. An activation level sufficient for useful application may be obtained solely from high surface area. Further chemical treatment often enhances adsorption properties.
Activated carbon is usually derived from charcoal. When derived from coal it is referred to as activated coal. Activated coke is derived from coke.