Moso (MOH-soh) is a species of giant timber bamboo native to China that grows to 55 feet and up. We get ours from a farm in China’s Fujian Province where it grows best. Moso bamboo is wide and very dense, which creates one of the most effective charcoals in the world.
To convert bamboo into charcoal, you must first cut down the bamboo. Luckily, Moso grows back to full maturity within five years. The cut bamboo is dried for a few weeks, then slowly treated in a kiln at 750°C through a process called pyrolysis. In the absence of oxygen, all organic material is essentially ‘cooked off’ and all that is left is pure charcoal with millions of tiny pores and cavities.
Through these millions of pores, the charcoal attracts and stores particles from the air. One gram of bamboo charcoal has as much as one thousand square meters of surface area! This means the Moso Bag is able to absorb a lot of moisture without ever feeling saturated or wet.
Another unique feature of our bamboo charcoal is its ionic charge, which you can think of like a magnet. When cooked properly, bamboo charcoal has a negative ionic charge. The less desirable molecules in the air, particularly odors, have a positive ionic charge. Once odor molecules are drawn into the charcoal, the positive ionic charge is ‘transformed’ into a neutral particle. This results in total elimination of odor.
To compare, traditional charcoal, that you might use in your barbeque or aquarium filter, is not created in a strict pyrolysis environment. So while those charcoals may be able to passively absorb some things, it will not actively absorb particles out of the air like true pyrolyzed bamboo.
The lifespan of a Moso Bag is typically two years. Through a weak chemical bond, bamboo charcoal stores particles and moisture in its pores until placed in direct sunlight. The UV rays from the sunlight release the weak chemical bond that was formed and clears out the cavities, making space to store more particles. Sometimes residue is left behind that is not able to be released. It is this residue that builds up in the pores, lowering the amount of available surface area and weakening the ability to attract particles. This buildup usually peaks around two years.
After the charcoal is exhausted as an air purifier, try sprinkling it in your garden, where it promotes plant growth due to its mineral-rich nature and ability to retain moisture. Moso bamboo charcoal is completely non-toxic and safe. It has been renowned for its healing properties and ecologically friendly purification properties. In the Far East, they use it in their water, tea and rice.
What other uses can you imagine for this incredible material?
Moso Natural cares about planet earth. While our bamboo is being cooked in the kiln, there is very little off-gassing. The by-product of the process is mostly steam which is then converted into bamboo vinegar, another useful product. This makes our manufacturing a nearly carbon-neutral process!
Moso Natural never tests their products on animals. Also, we are not taking away a food source for pandas. Moso bamboo is very wide, dense and has no leaf growth on the first 15 feet of the stem. Pandas eat bamboo that is lower to the ground with more access to the roots, shoots, and leaves.
** Adsorb vs. Absorb
You may notice that we used the word ‘absorb’ to explain our product. This is the commonly understood word to describe the process of one material transferring itself into another material. We use ‘absorb’ so it does not look like we cannot spell. But bamboo charcoal actually uses the process of ‘adsorption’. Adsorption is defined as “substances like gas, liquids or dissolved solids loosely adhere or stick to the surface of another substance.” When the charcoal attracts particles from the air, it ‘adsorbs’ them by sticking to the surface with a weak chemical bond and then releases them when put into direct sunlight. But for the sake of ease and understanding, you will continue to see the word absorb.