Don’t fall for snake oil’s claims about “structured water”. A chemist explains why this is nonsense


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Is there a “fourth part of water”? Once in a while, you might even see folks speaking in regards to the well being advantages of the so-called hexagonal water, structured water, or exclusion zone (EZ) water.

Just a few weeks in the past, Kourtney Kardashian’s Poosh web site was producing a $2,500 “regulated water filter.” Final weekend, Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald took half within the occasion, publishing a now-deleted story about some great benefits of “structured water”.

what is going on?

As a chemistry professor, I can let you know that “EZ water” is nonsense. However let’s discuss what it is alleged to be and the way it’s alleged to work.

What’s EZ Water?

EZ Water has its origins in notes by Gerald Pollack, a professor of bioengineering on the College of Washington. He was finding out the habits of water close to “hydrophilic” surfaces, which encompass supplies with a robust affinity for water.

Pollack discovered that water pushes away objects similar to microplastic balls, salt, and even dye particles from the realm close to the extremely hydrophilic floor.

Pollack’s clarification for this habits is that the construction of the water adjustments within the “exclusion zone”.

Whereas water molecules encompass two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom (with the acquainted formulation H₂O), Pollack believes that EZ water comprises an additional hydrogen atom and an additional oxygen atom (formulation H₃O₂). This modification is meant to lead to a adverse electrical cost and a hexagonal lattice association of the atoms within the water.

Hydrophilic surfaces are discovered within the cells of the human physique, so some have argued that EZ water is “extra pure” than plain water, and due to this fact ought to have a number of well being advantages.

False well being claims

The now-deleted Sydney Morning Herald article interviewed a supposed knowledgeable within the science of water construction known as Rob Gourlay.

He makes a number of widespread claims about structured water: it is extra pure, has a adverse electrical cost, flows into our cells quicker than common water, and has many different supposed well being advantages.

Though the article would not point out it, a fast search reveals Robert Gourlay’s job title as “Chief Scientist” at an organization known as Phi’on, which sells water structuring gadgets.

From cheap to absurd

Let’s check out these claims. Some are cheap, others are preposterous.

We all know that water behaves in a different way close to an interface with one other substance, as a result of it not simply interacts with different water molecules. Floor stress is a well-recognized instance of this phenomenon.

We additionally know that water behaves in a different way whether it is confined to a really small house, on the size of 1 billionth of a metre.

As such, there isn’t a explicit motive to instantly doubt Pollack’s experimental findings in regards to the habits of water within the “exclusion zone”. It’s actually attention-grabbing, and plenty of elements have been reproduced.

However Pollack’s explanations for the habits are unfounded.

comply with the atoms

If the water by some means adjustments to the type of H₃O₂, easy calculations present that changing two molecules of H₂O to one among H₃O₂ will go away an additional hydrogen atom floating round.

We anticipate to see this hydrogen launched as H₂ fuel. As an alternative, the response might want to usher in further oxygen from the air. A easy experiment will present that none of this occurs.

EZ water, for all its attention-grabbing properties, can solely be H₂O. Pollack doesn’t counsel the H₃O₂ construction in a peer-reviewed publication, and different explanations have been provided to clarify his printed experimental outcomes.

And the hexagonal construction of H₃O₂ that Pollack proposes, if it had been secure and stable, wouldn’t movement like a liquid.

Water has no reminiscence

However suppose that the water within the exclusion zone had a particular construction. Can it’s packaged and retain its properties?

All indicators level to no.

In water with a impartial pH (neither acidic nor alkaline), roughly one molecule in each billion comprises an additional hydrogen atom that has jumped out of one other molecule. This creates a positively charged H₃O+ ion and one negatively charged OH ion.

The additional protons (H+) that make H₃O+ Ions are extremely cell – they shortly leap from one molecule to a different. This occurs so shortly that every of the hydrogen atoms in a given water molecule is changed 1,000 instances each second.

There are additionally short-lived points of interest between the oxygen atoms of 1 molecule and the hydrogen atoms of a neighboring molecule known as “hydrogen bonds”. In liquid water at room temperature, these bonds final solely a millionth of a millionth of a second.

The fast motion of hydrogen atoms, flashing out and in of hydrogen bonds, meant that any construction in EZ water would dissipate in a short time. In massive portions, water forgot its neighbors inside picoseconds and swapped hydrogen atoms in milliseconds. For this reason it’s liquid.

Experiments utilizing intense laser pulses to disrupt the water’s construction have additionally proven that it recovers inside picoseconds. So any massive water construction that differs from the standard type that flows from our faucets lasts no quite a lot of millionths of a millionth of a second.

water is water

So what does all of it add? Merely put, no different sort of water might be bought aside from plain water. You may change the pH, you may change the ions and dissolved gases, however not the water itself.

Snake oil sellers who promote structured water merchandise use phrases that appear scientifically meaningless on the whole and are based mostly at greatest on misinterpretations and abuses of Pollack’s experiments.

Pollack distances himself from most corporations that promote structured water merchandise. He has his personal structured water firm, which amongst different merchandise sells “filtered water and not using a filter”.

Mapping the potential power surfaces of water for the primary time

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