Activated charcoal & carbon comes from the same place as the common charcoal that you are familiar with. Regular charcoal comes from things like coconut shells, wood, coal, petroleum or peat. However, it becomes AC ("activated charcoal") when common charcoal is heated in the presence of a gas. The result of this process is the charcoal develops plenty of "pores" of internal spaces. It is these pores that helps AC "trap" things like chemicals and contaminants. This ability to trap or filter out harmful substances is what makes it so useful. It makes it useful as a water filter. You should not confuse AC with the regular charcoal briquettes that you use to light a barbecue. While both of them come from the same base materials, the barbecue charcoal briquette is not "activated". Also, the barbecue briquette will typically contain other substances, which are toxic for human beings. The articles below will review the value of activated charcoal & carbon in the context of water. It is one of the most popular forms of water filtration, especially when it comes to water filter jugs. It is so good it will probably change your life and these articles will tell you why.