What Is Activated Alumina: How Activated Alumina Filter Work

Heard about activated alumina but don’t know what is it?

Even if you never know about what is activated alumina, this material is probably in your water filter and has benefited your family for a long period.

In the water filtration system, activated alumina media is commonly used as a water filter to remove fluoride from your drinking water. It can effectively reduce fluoride levels from 10 ppm to below 1 ppm.

The longer the water in touch with the media, the more fluoride it can remove.

Want to know more about activated alumina and how activated alumina filters work?

Read on.

What is Activated Alumina?

What Is Activated Alumina: How Activated Alumina Filter Work

Activated alumina is a highly porous sphere media with high-crush strength that is produced from aluminum hydroxide via dehydroxylation.

It is made of aluminum oxide (Al2O3) and has a large surface area of more than 200 m2 per gram due to lots of microscopic pores that are similar to tunnels, which increase the surface area to weight ratio.

Activated Alumina Usage and Applications

Activated alumina is commonly used as a desiccant to adsorb water molecules in the air or gases to keep things dry and reduce the humidity level.

As a cost-effective desiccant, it can be found on compressed air dryers to adsorb water molecules under harsh conditions.

It is also used as a catalyst in the manufacturing process of hydrogen peroxide gas and gasoline for purification and dehydration purposes.

Another popular usage of the activated alumina material is as a water filter to remove or reduce contaminants like fluoride, selenium, and arsenic from water, which is widely used in water treatment applications for home, commercial, and industrial.

It is also used to dry gases like propane for safe transportation of volatile gases to avoid corrosion and leaking.

Due to their strong adsorb capability, they are widely used to clean up toxic wastes, rainwater, and groundwater to remove soluble metals like lead and chemicals like arsenic.

Why Use Activated Alumina

Activated alumina can bind with toxic contaminants, meaning that these bound toxic contaminants will not leak back to the environment during the disposal.

In short, the removal effect of toxic contaminants by using the activated alumina is permanent and not temporary.

Hence, it is an efficient and environmental way to remove toxic contaminants from water and clean up the environment.

That is one of the reasons why activated alumina filters are commonly used in water filtration systems to remove fluoride, arsenic, lead, and selenium from water.

Besides, it is a very stable compound, meaning that it will not change its form or chemistry when bonding with toxic substances, even in high temperature or corrosive environments.

The Benefits of Activated Alumina

The activated alumina has a large surface areas which can effectively bind a large number of toxic contaminants in its lifespan.

It is ideal in many applications due to its characteristics like resistance to thermal shock, high-crush strength, resistance to chemicals, and more.

How Activated Alumina Works?

When water flows through the activated alumina media, the contaminants like fluoride, selenium, and arsenic will be adsorbed and bind to the activated alumina, leaving the water free of these harmful contaminants.

The activated alumina “adsorb” the contaminants and not “absorb”, meaning that it will not release the bound contaminants back to the environment when disposed of.

How to Restore Activated Alumina Adsorption Efficiency

The activated alumina adsorption efficiency can be restored by heating it to temperature from 200° to 300°C (392° to 572°F).

At these temperatures, the substances bound in the activated alumina media will be released and it can be reused again.


1. Does activated alumina add aluminum to the water?

No. It will not leak aluminum to the filtered water.

2. What does activated alumina media filter remove?

Activated alumina media filters can effectively bind and remove fluoride, arsenic, selenium, and lead from water.

3. How activated alumina media works in removing fluoride?

Activated alumina adsorbs the fluoride substances when it comes into physical contact, the longer the contact, the more fluoride it can remove.


Activated alumina is a stable compound that is used in various applications as adsorbents to remove toxic contaminants in water, desiccant to keep things dry and reduce humidity level, and catalysts for the oil and gas industry.

To relate to your daily life, the activated alumina water filter protects you and your family from harmful chemicals and soluble metals like fluoride, arsenic, lead, and more, giving you safe and clean water.

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