The Science Behind How Colloidal Silver Is Made: Getting Less Ionic Silver

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If you have ever been curious as to how colloidal silver is made, and the science behind it all, you’ve come to the right place! Since there is a lot of confusing misinformation about colloidal silver out there, we’ve created a handy guide in the form of a series of articles to help you make the right decision about colloidal silver.

Since metallic silver is what we want when using colloidal silver as a supplement, when creating the colloid, we want as little ionic silver in the mixture as possible.  If you read the previous article on colloidal silver, you should already understand that ionic silver is less desirable as an antimicrobial supplement because of the missing election. Since ionic silver is missing an electron from its outer orbit, it easily bonds to chloride in the body creating silver chloride. The body then expels the compound through urine providing few, if any microbial benefits.

So how exactly is an effective silver colloid made?  That’s where things get a little more scientific. While a colloid can have many forms, colloidal silver is one type of colloid that consists of solid particles suspended in a liquid. The solid, in this case, is very small particles (not individual atoms of silver, but clusters of atoms which create particles) of metallic silver and the liquid is water. The “very small particles” in this context refer to particles whose diameter is measured in nanometers.  A silver colloid then must have silver particles in suspension. However, Colloidal silver also contains another form of silver called ions. The difference between solutions, colloids, and suspensions is defined by the size of the particles in the liquid.

Since we are focusing on colloidal silver, a colloid contains silver nanoparticles ranging in size from 10-9 m to 10-6 m (1 nm to 1000 nm). A one-nanometer silver particle consists of 31 silver atoms.  The diameter of a single silver atom is .288nm.

Colloidal silver is made when an electric current is passed through a series circuit consisting of a silver electrode and de-ionized (DI) water.  The current can be either alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC). The current flow causes Ag0 (metal) and Ag+ (ions) to migrate from the electrode into the DI water. AC processes tend to be more efficient than DC in limiting the ionic concentration. It is generally assumed that water ionizes to H + and OH- and that the H +, in the form of the hydronium ion, H3O +, migrates to the cathode, where it is reduced to hydrogen gas, H2, which is liberated. The electrons taken from the cathode are replaced at the anode when Ag metal goes into solution as Ag+.

Therefore, colloidal silver consists of silver in two distinctly different forms, metallic silver particles, and silver ions. The total amount of silver that is reported as the silver concentration (in parts per million) is the sum total of the silver contained in the particles and the silver contained in the silver ions.  Typically, silver ions make up 75 to 99 percent of the total silver while only 1 to 25 percent of the total silver is metallic particles.

A solution containing only ionic silver and no particles is not a colloid since there are no solid silver particles in suspension. On the other hand, if 100 percent of the silver was particles and no ions were present, the solution would be a pure colloid. One measure of the quality of a silver colloid is the percentage of silver particles. Ideally, all the silver content would be in the form of particles with no silver ions.

The good news there is it’s almost impossible to get argyria, colloidal silver’s only known side effect, by consuming silver ions. But ionic silver also won’t offer much in the way of antimicrobial benefits either. Accurate measurements of total silver content require the measurement by either atomic absorption or atomic emission of the silver atoms.

The diagram below shows the setup of a colloidal silver generator.  Remember: 9-volt batteries deliver DC.  As mentioned previously, to get more metallic silver, AC is more effective.  It’s also important to bear in mind that AC batteries are not actually batteries, but converters that create AC current out of DC battery supplies. AC can carry electricity several miles without the loss of power and can also be controlled to increase or decrease power with a transformer. An AC converter on a DC battery creates a more controllable AC energy source with the portability and self-contained benefits of a battery.

Since most manufacturers of colloidal silver do not list the concentration of metallic silver or ionic silver, there’s an observational way to note the difference. When looking at the advertised colloidal silver and the colloidal silver you create at home, you can easily tell by how it looks whether or not there’s a high concentration of ionic silver or metallic silver.  Ionic silver solutions should be clear (they look like water) or have a gold tint to them. The particles of ionic silver are too small to be seen except with an electron microscope. When ionic silver is created, bubbles will form on one or both of the silver wires. Colloidal silver is made from silver particles that are microscopic in size.  When creating colloidal silver, it will look like wisps of smoke emanating from one of the silver electrodes. The metallic silver particles will usually deliver a gray or silver tint to the solution.

It would be beneficial if colloidal silver manufacturers would list the concentration of ionic silver in their products, but until then, we’ll have to use our observational skills and decide based on appearance.

One of the purest silver collides can be found by clicking here. This particular brand also cites sources and attempts to educate the consumer.  You’ll note links to scientific articles below the image of their bottle which will also give you the information we are providing here. MesoSilver also labels the percentage of the metallic silver in their product vs. ionic silver so you’re a well-informed consumer.

In the next colloidal silver article, we will go into detail as to how and why silver particles are more effective than silver ions in the human body.

 

*This article is for informational purposes only.  It is not meant to treat or diagnose. 

 

 

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Colloidal Silver vs. Ionic Silver And Why It Matters

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Colloidal silver is often confused with ionic silver, and although both are very similar, their differences should be noted especially when considering whether or not colloidal silver is a supplement that’s right for you or your family. Many products claiming to be colloidal silver or angstrom size silver particle colloids are in fact mostly ionic silver solutions.

This article will help you to understand the differences and labeling so that informed decisions can be made about colloidal silver. Most don’t know that ionic silver is also often sold as colloidal silver, however, the differences between the two should be noted and for very important reasons.

What It Is

Colloidal silver is simply water with small nanoparticles of metallic silver in it.  The silver particles are complete and do not combine with other elements.  The same can not be said for ionic silver.  If you’re more scientifically savvy than the average person, you’ve probably already guessed that ionic silver is an atom of silver that is missing an electron. The outermost electrons of an atom determine the physical properties of the matter. When one electron is taken away from a silver atom and you are left with a silver ion. Ionic silver is not the same as metallic silversilver particles or colloidal silver.

Additionally, when that one electron is missing meaning the silver is in its ionic form, it is highly reactive with other elements, and will readily combine to form compounds. Pure silver particles, on the other hand, are made up of clusters of silver atoms and do not combine with other atoms of other elements, as their electron count is already “full.”

This is perhaps the most important fact to be kept in mind when reading claims that silver ions are particles. If a silver ion were a particle, it would not combine with chloride. Colloidal silver does have some ionic silver in it, however, because as the metallic silver goes through the process to become a colloid, some ions inevitably get in there.

This is noteworthy because silver ions and chloride ions have such a strong attraction for each other that it is virtually impossible to keep them apart. Once in contact with chloride ions, they will bond forming silver chloride. Silver chloride is an insoluble compound which means once it is formed in the human body, it does not dissolve.  All ionic silver will eventually turn into silver chloride once inside the human body because of the readily available supply of chloride ions in many different forms.  Silver chloride is an insoluble salt which is eliminated by the kidneys and expelled in the urine but it’s mostly useless as a supplement, making ionic silver much less desirable. Typical ionic silver products contain between 3 and 20 ppm of ionic silver which would not cause argyria (colloidal silver’s only known side effect).

Despite the fact that labels and advertising often never mention the words “ionic silver” or specify what percentage of the total silver in their product is made up of silver ions vs. silver particles, many different terms are being used to describe ionic silver products in an attempt to obfuscate the truth. The following terms are currently most often used: monatomic silver, silver hydrosol, and covalent silver.

Monatomic silver: simply an advertising term commonly used to describe ionic silver solutions. Claims for monatomic silver products describe their particles as single atoms of silver. Single-atom particles cannot exist due to the van der Waal’s force of mutual attraction which would cause single atoms to be drawn to each other to form particles consisting of clusters of atoms. For more in-depth details, please click here to read The Myth of Monatomic Colloidal Silver.

Silver Hydrosol: this is yet another term being used to sell ionic silver products. The definition of hydrosol is a colloidal suspension in water. Therefore, the term silver hydrosol is describing colloidal silver. However, products advertised as silver hydrosol are actually ads for ionic silver products that are typically 95% or more ionic silver.

Covalent silver: the most recent in the ionic name game. When you read the detailed description for covalent silver you will eventually find that the term is simply referring to silver ions.

Promotional claims made for some ionic silver products describe it as having “high bioavailability.” But that’s quite misleading. The Merck Manual is clear that bioavailability is the amount of unchanged drug that reaches the systemic circulation. To be bioavailable the substance being ingested must attain systemic circulation unchanged in form. Because silver ions are highly reactive they quickly form compounds in the body and therefore cannot remain unchanged. While it is the highly reactive nature of silver ions that provides its antimicrobial properties, it also causes the rapid formation of compounds and prevents the continued existence of silver ions inside the human body. Because silver ions cannot exist inside the human body the bioavailability is virtually nonexistent. Silver compounds such as silver chloride in the bloodstream provide no meaningful antimicrobial properties.

Only silver nanoparticles (colloids) can survive inside the body. Metallic silver particles are unaffected by hydrochloric stomach acid and chloride ions and will circulate in the bloodstream. The particles will slowly be eliminated from the body and do not build up. Since it is the particles of metallic silver that provide the real benefit, it is important to know how much of any colloidal silver product is in the form of particles.

Making a true silver colloid is a complicated, complex, and costly process. It’s no mystery why most producers choose to make ionic silver instead and simply call it colloidal silver. Thankfully, more consumers are educating themselves about this deception, and more are learning about this simple test: If it looks like water, it is ionic silver, not a true silver colloid.

There are many myths and some truths floating around about the side effects of colloidal silver as a supplement as well.  Please go here to read about how to prevent the one known side effect of colloidal silver and what causes it to occur.

 

 

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition