View Full Version : Activated Carbon for Atmos (Trotec)

Jiten Patel
10-15-2014, 4:30 AM
Hey guys,

So I recently changed my Atmos duo carbon with some I bought from Ebay (60-70) for 20kg in pellet form. It simply isn't doing what it needs to do. Studio stinks of acrylic and eyes are burning so need to get some more in. Trotec charge around 400 for their carbon/charcoal which I think is ludicrous considering what it actually is. Surely this is pretty standard stuff I can get from somewhere....does anyone have a supplier for carbon in the UK that does what it is meant to do?

Thanks all


Brian J Rogalny
10-15-2014, 6:02 AM
I posted about this a while back, it is a ridiculous price for what it is. I will search better so next time I don't have to pay that crazy price.

Kevin Gregerson
10-15-2014, 12:57 PM
Look for a local Filtration products company. You should be able to find someone who can refill them for you with similar or better stuff. We use these guys here in the states and they are a lot lower in price. http://www.tfsi1.com/

While they are here in the states but I'd be willing to bet they can refer you to someone there in the UK who does similar services.

Andrew Holloway
10-15-2014, 6:52 PM
While we are on the subject, does anyone know if you can buy replacement pocket filters for Atmos filters from anywhere other than Trotec?
I've contacted a few companies here in Australia but none of them have seen filters in this size, they can custom make them for me, but that is very expensive.

Henri Sallinen
10-16-2014, 4:15 AM
I myself use the same filters that are used by the automotive industry e.g. car airfilters. I've setup my current prefilter setup solely on cheap replacable carfilters and everything is working fine.

Kevin Gregerson
10-16-2014, 11:07 AM
While we are on the subject, does anyone know if you can buy replacement pocket filters for Atmos filters from anywhere other than Trotec?
I've contacted a few companies here in Australia but none of them have seen filters in this size, they can custom make them for me, but that is very expensive.

Depending on the size, look at purlator serv-a-pak filters. Just remember what you measure isn't the exact size. 11.2 inches is the nominal for 12 inches. 23.5 is the nominal for 24.

Jiten Patel
10-20-2014, 10:19 AM
Had to bite the bullet and pay Trotec 400 odd for the carbon, as our eyes are dying a slow death. Will keep a look out from now to a suitable alternative.

Andrew, the company who makes the comfort box is Viledon, but they will not supply a copy of the trotec version for some reason!

David Somers
10-20-2014, 11:00 AM

Did the stuff you got from the other company match the size of the pellets in the Trotec carbon? It doesnt take a lot of size difference to change how air flows through the carbon and if it has enough time/surface contact with the carbon to extract everything. Just curious. I should add my experience with this is more for water filtration, and also for SO2 filtration from air near a volcano, not in the laser world.

Good luck!

Robert . Payne
10-20-2014, 12:10 PM
It's pretty unfortunate Trotec throws their huge markup on the accessories you need to keep your engraver running. The laser machines look incredible but the filtration unit costs and the replacement filters cost are just ridiculous. Seems the only thing the Atmos line has on a Bofa system is the fact it can be controlled from the Trotec Machine/Software but otherwise it's just double the cost all around.

David Somers
10-20-2014, 12:20 PM
Anyone know if the Trotec charcoal is being treated somehow to deal with specific gases created by lasing certain materials? The charcoal used to remove SO2 is treated so that it is especially effective at removing acid gases like SO2 and that obviously raised the cost some. Or is Trotec having the stuff hand made and shaped pellet by pellet by skilled artisans in the remote mountains of Tibet from specially grown bamboo species? Or do they just know a terrific profit center when they see one? <grin>

Jiten Patel
10-21-2014, 5:23 AM
I was told it was treated, but obviously they would not tell me how!

It is a real shame. Spending a fortune on machines, only to be had with the extras...same story as printers - only difference is printer hardware is usually sold at a loss only to be made up from consumables. Lasers are sold at profit, and more profit to be had from over-priced carbon!!!

I actually got smaller pellets rather than granules..maybe that was the issue. But I got 6 hours out of the ones I got - obviously the wrong type.

David Somers
10-21-2014, 10:12 AM
Hmmm. I understand they may not say what they treat it with, but do they mention what it is treated for? Again, using Sulphur Dioxide as an example. The company I worked with wouldnt say what they treat the carbon with, understandably, but they did say it was treated to remove the standard Acid Gas mixtures that you see in a facial/canister respirator rated for acid gas removal. Knowing what it can remove would certainly be necessary to help you determine how it protects you.

Pellet size does make a difference. The theory is that hundreds of physicists and chemists and fluid engineers are place in a large room and locked in for weeks or months until they determine the optimal size of charcoal for the airflow/water flow (fluid dynamics) and the substances being targeted. Seriously though, that is a factor since different materials need to be in contact with the charcoal for given times to be removed to a given degree and the size of the pellets and thickness of the bed as the air flows through it would be important.

I would be curious what they are treating the Charcoal for.
And if you have a spent cartridge you could probably send a sample of charcoal from it to a manufacture and find which pellets they offer would be a suitable substitute. Worth doing if you can save some money on the refills.

When you say you got 6 hours out of the pellets you used.....do you mean you weighed them before and after and they were spent based on weight of materials absorbed? Or the cartridge got clogged? If it was the latter you could get a fair idea by flowing out the cartridge and finding it had more life left in it. If it was the former blowing it out would have little effect since the weight would be internal to the charcoal and not affected by being blown out.

Jit....Apologies too. I am pretty curious what is happening with it, and have some small experience with this from the SO2 systems in HI and water filtration, but am far from an expert. I do know enough to ask lots of annoying questions however. <grin>


Jiten Patel
10-21-2014, 12:49 PM
Not a problem mate. I will ask Trotec for more info.

The charcoal comes in a woven bag (x2) which you simply place inside the Atmos. No cartridge.

The 6 hours of use was based on the smell in the room and the fact that everyone's eye were burning something aweful! Just changed it over to Trotecs and the smell is gone and eyes are back to being able to see.

I will take a little sample from this new batch and send it out to various suppliers in the UK and hopefully somebody comes back with a suitable alternative which doesn't hurt my feelings everytime I have to order it.

David Somers
10-21-2014, 1:18 PM

I will bet Trotec is using an impregnated carbon. If they will tell you what it removes and you know the size of the pellets then you have a fair chance of finding an alternative source. But an impregnated carbon is going to cost more than a standard carbon. Not normally double the cost though. Yow.

The categories most typically used for impregnated removal are
AGR (acid gas removal)
URC (universal Respirator Carbon) which is used for most industrial uses. Does VOC's and acid gases and basic irritant gases.
ASZM which is used to remove cyanide and other specific poisons.
FCA which is only on your side of the pond. It does acid gases and INorganic gases.
UFR which is used mostly for what we call first responders. Firemen and ambulance who have to enter areas with unknown burning contaminants or enclosed spaces.

those are the main ones I know of, and my guess is Trotec is using AGR or URC. All my experiences have been with those two as well. Though I used the UFR unknowingly when I was a paramedic/firefighter/LE Ranger in my early days in the National Parks. It wasn't called that then however.

Let us know what you find! And good luck!


Tony Lenkic
10-21-2014, 1:33 PM

I have been using Quarto CSA626 fume extractor for about 3 months now. I have purchased it from Trotec Canada and they sell replacement pellets for this unit at $200.00
With original carbon filter there is no smell or burning eyes and all is working well. You can contact Trotec Canada and ask if the pellets from Quatro will work on Atmos unit.

Hope you get it sorted out quick.

Jiten Patel
10-22-2014, 3:59 AM
Hi David,

Thanks for your response, that is very informative and something I wouldn't have a clue about. I will look into the AGR or URC carbon and post back if I find it.

Tony, it's sorted for now as I purchased carbon from Trotec UK for the Atmos at a whopping 360 (US$576!!). I am on a mission to source a cheaper but effective alternative.

Mark Ward
02-11-2015, 12:37 PM
A blow but we're finally having to buy some more ludicrously priced carbon from Trotec. :(
I will put a bit of the clean carbon aside incase anyone knows of somewhere to send it for them to test it to see if they can match it at a reasonable price.

Raphael Weil
11-17-2015, 6:02 PM
Hey guys,

What was the consensus on the best type of activated carbon, size wise? I was wondering if the pellets were better for airflow for example (or maybe it's the other way around).

Dave Hutton
11-17-2015, 6:17 PM
I worked with S02 (amongst other things) in the chemical industry a few years back and we had simple water scrubbers to remove noxious gases, might be worth looking into getting one of those made as a pre filter. The only running costs is a water spray, although I can't remember what you end up making as efluent , which might be an issue to put down a standard waste pipe.