High copper content is of great concern among producers of sugar-cane spirits who frequently use filters instead of cleaning the stills. This study compared the efficiency of activated carbon, ion-exchange-polymeric resin, and activated-carbon/iron-oxide magnetic composite for copper reduction without removing excessive organic compounds that are important for the beverage's quality. Resin was the most efficient copper adsorbent, removing fewer organic compounds. The composite also removed copper; however, it also removed large amounts of organic compounds. Activated carbon didn't remove sufficient copper to reduce its concentration to less than 5 g L-1, and it removed large amounts of higher alcohols and esters.
Copper content is of great concern among sugarcane-spirit producers. It is released from copper-made distillers, during the distillation process. Activated carbon has been used to remove copper. However, depending on the amount of carbon and the duration of reaction, it can also remove higher alcohols and esters, which are important in the final product. A sugarcane spirit with 9 mg L-1 of copper was shaken with 2 to 26 g L-1 of activated carbon, during 10 to 1440 minutes. Then, copper and organic compounds were measured. At least 12 g L-1 of carbon and 60 min shaking time were necessary to decrease copper bellow 5 mg L-1. However, other components of the product were also affected.