Study of the Use and Reuse of Activated Charcoal in Rum Processing

How to Cite

Aguiar Muxella, J. L., Rodríguez Benítez, V., & García Morín, M. (1968). Study of the Use and Reuse of Activated Charcoal in Rum Processing. The Journal of Agriculture of the University of Puerto Rico, 52(1), 1–18.


Activated charcoals are used in rum-processing for the specific removal of detrimental components such as tannins and furfuraldehyde, and for the elimination of excessive color. Other rum components are also removed in this process in varying degrees. In this study five commercial brands of activated charcoals were evaluated to determine their removal capacity for different rum components. Efforts were made also to determine the best way to use and reactivate charcoals to attain their maximum efficiency in rum-processing. In the study of the best ways of utilizing the charcoal the following aspects were investigated: The capacity of various doses of different charcoals in removing congeners and color from rums; the effect of two consecutive charcoal treatments; the effectiveness of adding a single total dose vs. an incremental dose; the minimum contact time between charcoal and sample; the removal capacity of a given charcoal in rum aged for different periods of time. In general the charcoals used have very similar capacities for the removal of congeners and color in rums. Charcoals CC-2, CC-3, CC-4, and CC-5 have some advantages over charcoals CC-6 and CC-7 in the removal of color. The following methods for reactivating the used charcoal were studied: washing the used charcoal with water, washing the used charcoal with water followed by flushing the mixture with steam; and direct heating at different temperatures. The reactivation by direct heating at 300° C. for 30 minutes was found to be the best. By this process a charcoal sample was reactivated and reused consecutively four times without a significant loss in its capacity for removing color and tannins. The data are presented by means of tables and graphs. A discussion of the results is included.


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