History and Timeline


When the United States entered World War II, coconut shells were the raw material used to produce granular activated carbon, the filtering agent in military gas masks. Faced with a shortage of this crucial material, the government asked Pittsburgh Coke and Chemical to develop a substitute from a native material. In 1942, Pittsburgh Coke and Chemical produced an activated carbon product using bituminous coal, and that was the beginning of Calgon Carbon.

Throughout its history, Calgon Carbon has been a pioneer in creating new activated carbon products, systems and services from the infancy stages to global commercialization. The Company currently offers a variety of carbon products used in a range of market applications from purifying air and drinking water, to purifying foods and pharmaceuticals, to separating gas and removing mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants. As a leader in the activated carbon industry and with ultraviolet light disinfection and oxidation expertise, the Company has originated cutting-edge purification systems for drinking water, wastewater, odor control, pollution abatement and a variety of industrial and commercial manufacturing processes.


Over 20 years ago, Calgon Carbon introduced an advanced UV oxidation process to remediate contaminated groundwater. In 1998, we followed that up with the first radical breakthrough in the treatment of drinking water in decades, when our scientists invented a process that could be used to inactivate Cryptosporidium and other similar pathogens in surface water, rendering them harmless to humans. This inventive process placed Calgon Carbon on the leading edge of UV disinfection technology. With the Sentinel® line for drinking water, the C3 Series™ for wastewater, and the Rayox® line for groundwater and process water, Calgon Carbon continues to lead the marketplace with innovative UV technologies.

From the use of granular activated carbon (GAC) for taste and odor removal in the early 1960s, to the development of ultraviolet light technology for pathogen control in the late 1990s, to the application of ion exchange technology for removing perchlorates starting in the year 2000, we continue to be a pioneer in purification and separation solutions.

For more information and a complete timeline for Calgon Carbon, please visit: www.calgoncarbon.com/about/history