KDF (Kinetic Degradation Fluxion) process media is a primary and pre-treatment solution that can be used in residential and industrial water filtration to reduce a wide spectrum of contamination issues.

KDF filters successfully extend the filter life and increase the performance of organic based media and maintain their efficacy even at high water temperatures.

The media produces an electrochemical reaction with the result of changing harmful water contaminants into harmless components that can be easily removed.

To better understand the inner workings of KDF, we’re going to examine how KDF process media remove contaminants, where are KDF process media used, and the benefits and disadvantages of using KDF water filters.

What is KDF?

Kinetic Degradation Fluxion process media is a zinc-copper alloy that reduces water contaminants through an electrochemical process of oxidation-reduction, known otherwise as the redox process.

It’s available in different granule forms such as the KDF 55 fine granule medium, which is best at reducing and removing chlorine and soluble heavy metals, or KDF-F fine mesh granules, which are incorporated into carbon blocks to enhance their efficiency and prolong their service life.

KDF can be used in conjunction with other filters either as a water pre-treatment solution or as a primary filter.


How Does It Work?

As water passes through the copper-zinc granules in the KDF process media, electrons between the different molecules are swapped creating harmless components. Ultimately, the redox process is based on the principle of opposites at work.

As water and oxygen passes through the bed of granules, some contaminants bond with the granules (e.g. heavy metals), others react producing new elements in controlled amounts, which are harmless, if consumed.

Beyond its contaminant reduction properties via the electrochemical process of oxidation-reduction, KDF also has fungi, algae, bacteria and virus inhibiting properties, which has important implications in the service life of these filters.


What Do KDF Filters Remove from Water?

The high-purity copper-zinc alloy granules in these filters remove a wide spectrum of water contaminants including:


1.   Free Chlorine

Chlorine in water is present as free chlorine and as total or combined chlorine. KDF removes only free chlorine, which is the one responsible for eradicating bacteria in water and oxidizing contaminants.

Free chlorine is also the element that causes many unwanted effects on hair, skin, eyes, and lungs. Therefore, it’s free chlorine that you want removed from your water supply.

Total or combined chlorine is chlorine that has reacted with other contaminants in water. This chlorine has little to no sanitising effect and no oxidizing ability.

If your water filter system combines both KDF and carbon media, you can get rid of both free chlorine and total chlorine.

KDF removes 99% of free chlorine, which essentially frees up activated carbon filters to better remove organic contaminants.


2.   Iron

KDF can remove more than 90% of iron from your water supply by changing soluble ferrous cations into insoluble ferric hydroxide. The new by-product is strained through the filter bed, then periodically removed by backwashing.


3.   Hydrogen Sulphide

Another contaminant that’s easily tackled by KDF is hydrogen sulphide. KDF changes hydrogen sulphide into insoluble copper sulphide, which again is strained through the filter bed and removed just like iron.


4.   Heavy Metals

So far, the list of contaminants that KDF can remove has been impressive; however, the ability of this filter material to remove heavy metals like nickel, chromium, lead, mercury, etc. is even more impressive.

The mechanism through which KDF removes heavy metals is by bonding them to the surface of the filter granules.


5.   Other Contaminants

Besides these contaminants, KDF can also tackle calcium carbonate and magnesium. KDF also inhibits the growth of bacteria, algae, viruses, and fungi.

This is an important advantage of filters containing KDF, because the inability of organic based media to inhibit the growth of bacteria is often why their service life is cut much shorter compared to antibacterial filters.


KDF vs Silver Impregnated Filters

When it comes to bacterial growth inhibition, for long, silver impregnated filters were the gold standard. However, filter cartridges with KDF filter material outrank silver-infused filters both in terms of durability and bacterial inhibition. Plus, KDF filters inhibit algae growth as well.


KDF vs Activated Carbon Filters

Although both filter materials can target chlorine, they’re best used in conjunction for a full spectrum contaminant removal.

KDF fills the gaps in the contaminant removal ability of activated carbon, and vice versa – carbon filters help overcome the shortcomings of KDF in removing organic contaminants.

Therefore, for best results, use both types of filters within the same water filtration unit, or even better, within the same filter cartridge.


Application in Water Filtration

As a filter media, KDF has a wide range of applications in both residential and industrial water filtration.

In home water treatment units, KDF can be found in point-of-entry filters and many types of point-of-use filters from under-sink filters to shower filters or fridge filters.

KDF is used in water filtration for manufacturing purposes, in restaurants, hospitals, and any other industry where contaminants that can be removed by KDF are deemed undesirable in water.


H2O US4 6-Stage Water Filter System

One example of an undersink filter that incorporates KDF process media is the H2O US4 6-Stage Water FIlter System.

It can target Bacteria, Chlorine, Sediments, and Heavy Metals. The system also incorporates granular activated carbon media as well as riolyte for enhanced contaminant removal and wholesome water.

Apart from its contaminant reducing abilities, the H2O US4 can also feed three applications simultaneously (e.g. coffee machine, kitchen tap, fridge freezer, ice machine, etc.)  in your kitchen area, offering a multi-purpose filtration.

Even better, this kitchen water filter has an impressively long service life of up to 5 years, which means maintenance tasks and related costs are minimal.

This filter is designed to be used with municipal water as a point-of-use system, and it’s shipped with a deluxe filter tap.

If you want to experience the many advantages of KDF water filtration, the H2O US4 is a long-lasting, efficient and affordable tap water filter that will help you solve your water contamination issues.


Pros and Cons of KDF

KDF has a lot of benefits including:

  • Extends the life and enhances the performance of carbon filters;
  • It’s fully recyclable;
  • It’s available in multiple granular styles for a more targeted approach in filtration;
  • It has antibacterial properties and outperforms other antibacterial filters on the market;
  • It’s efficient at higher water temperatures too.


As for the disadvantages of KDF water filters, here’s what you should know:

  • They don’t remove organic chemicals (e.g. pesticides, MTBEs, disinfection by-products, etc.);
  • Require backwashing with hot water to dislodge insoluble contaminants.

As with many water filtration technologies, their benefits are put to the best use when they’re used in combination with other water filter media.


Final Notes

If you’re installing a water filter system and you’re looking for durable filter cartridges, KDF filter cartridges can be a great choice not only because of their contaminant removal properties, but also because of their durability.

As with any filter media, they can’t offer a full spectrum removal of undesirable water ingredients, therefore, it’s best to use them in conjunction with other filter media.