A: Activated carbon has a large surface area available for absorption and is usually derived from charcoal which has a capacity to absorb any vapor contaminant. As a result, this filter is very efficient at absorbing most odors. It also has a large capacity to collect organic molecules such as solvents. Also, activated carbon commercial air filters can absorb and retain a wide variety of chemicals at the same time. These filters also work well under a wide range of temperature and humidity conditions.