Ionising water for purification
When two electrodes are dipped in water and connect to a power supply, a small electric current will flow. The current is formed by ions (charged atoms – or groups of atoms) drifting through the water.
The ions are attracted towards their oppositely charged electrode. So a positive ion would be attracted to the negative terminal and vice versa.
This process (known as electrolysis) can be used to split water into its component parts, hydrogen and oxygen. It is also the method used in electro-plating where metal ions are pulled from one terminal, then deposited in a thin layer over the other.
It has long been known that silver and copper have germicidal properties. Between them they can destroy many forms of bacteria, viruses, algae and fungi and so are widely used in medicine and many other scientific fields.
Ionised drinking water purification
Back in the 1960’s NASA developed water purifiers for the Apollo missions by combining electrolysis with the germicidal properties of silver. By passing an electric current through silver electrodes, silver ions are formed in the water. Their powerful antibacterial properties keep the water pure.
Swimming pools purification
Swimming pool ionisers also use this principle. A small electric current is passed through copper and silver electrodes to introduce copper and silver ions into the water. By making the water flow past the electrodes, the ions get washed away into the main pool where they can keep it pure without the use of toxic chemicals.