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the Chemistry of making colloidal silver

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I just answered this question today.  It again shows the widespread misinformation on the internet.

I don't see how you reduce the ionic solution to colloidal? Thanks, Rick


Rick, in the blog post on my website "making ionic silver and thinking it is colloidal silver" I debunk the process of reducing ionic silver to colloidal silver by the using karo syrup as a reduction agent. There is no need to try to make colloidal silver that way and it doesn't work.

Furthermore, there is no need to be concerned that there is ionic silver being produced when using just distilled water and silver electrodes.  It is the same process originally used by Michael Faraday and John Tyndall in the 1840's.

I am university educated in Chemistry.  What happens when you make colloidal silver with distilled water is this: First when passing an electrical current through water a process called electrolysis occurs where the water molecules are split into ions H+ and OH- and O--. Second, silver colloid particles are ejected from the positive electrode (colloids are suspensions of nano-particles that are larger than ions, atoms or molecules - in the case of silver these are clumps of silver atoms) . Third, some silver ions are formed on the surface of the positive wire. The OH- ions produced by electrolysis react with the silver ions to form the insoluble ionic compound silver hydroxide which is brown and clings to the positive wire (well a lot of it is ejected into the water as the positive electrode is also where silver is being ejected into the water, so you will also see a brown cloud between the electrodes - see photos under the heading on the website Making Colloidal Silver). The O-- ions produced by electrolysis react at the surface of the negative wire forming the insoluble ionic compound silver oxide which is black and clings to the negative wire (the instructions have a protocol for wiping the wires off periodically to maintain the speed of the process of making colloidal silver). The H+ ions formed by electrolysis combine with each other and free electrons from the electrical current and bubble off the negative wire as the diatomic hydrogen molecule H2.

All that is left at the end are colloidal particles of pure silver suspended in the distilled water and insoluble brown silver hydroxide clinging to the positive wire and insoluble black silver oxide clinging to the negative wire. The colloidal silver nano-particles have numerous charges on them and are surrounded by OH- ions. This can be verified because the suspension's pH rises from 7 to about 10.5.  Also, you can perform the Tyndall test to verify the presence of colloidal silver.  Shine a bright penlight through the clear suspension.  Amazingly, the beam appears as if passing though fog.

I hope this clears up the Chemistry for you.

Mike



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