Water Science References

Mainly relating to water structure and magnetic/electric effects

These references are arranged alphabetically by the first author, and are not comprehensive. They are intended to supplement the material on some of my other "AquaScams" pages, especially those on treating water by magnetic and electromagnetic means.


For a much more comprehensive set of references, see the excellent site maintained by Prof. Martin Chaplin of London South Bank University, especially the pages Magnetic and Electric Effects on Water and Descaling of Water.



Reduction in the surface tension of water due to physical water treatment for fouling control in heat exchangers

Young I. Cho, Sung-Hyuk Lee: Internat. Commun. in Heat and Mass Transfer 2005 32 1-9

Abstract: Two different PWT devices were used: a permanent magnet—Drexel University (PMDU) and a solenoid coil electronic device (SCED). The effects of the treatment number of the PWT on the surface tension were studied. Two separate experiments were conducted: one was the measurement of surface tension, and the other was a flow-visualization of dye behavior in water samples. As the number of treatments of the PWT increased, the surface tension of the sample water decreased, a phenomenon that was consistent with the results in the dye flow-visualization experiment.

Pulsed-power treatment for physical water treatment

Young I. Cho, John Lane, Wontae Kim: Internat. Commun. in Heat and Mass Transfer 2005 32 861-871

Abstract: The objective of the present study was to examine the validity of a physical water treatment concept using a pulsed-power system, which was based on an induced electric field via Faraday's law. Heat transfer fouling tests were conducted and fouling resistance was measured over 820 h while maintaining the electric conductivity of circulating water at 2000 μmho/cm. The fouling resistance for the baseline case, which included a 20-μm filter, increased well over the industry standard allowance level, whereas the fouling resistance was remained essentially zero throughout the test period when the PPS was used in conjunction with a 20-μm filter. The test was repeated with water having an electric conductivity of 4000 μmho/cm and similar results were observed.

Magnetic water treatment - effect on aragonite/calcite ratio

J. M. D. Coey and S. Cass J. Magnetism Magnetic Mater. 209 (2000) 71-74

Abstract: Carbonates formed by heating water containing ≈120 mg(Ca)/l are characterized by X-ray diffraction and electron microscopy. Tests on 32 pairs of samples establish, at the 99.9% probability level, that drawing water through a static magnetic field (B≈0.1T, B≈10 T/m) increases the aragonite/calcite ratio in the deposit. There is an incubation period of several hours, and memory of magnetic treatment extends beyond 200 h.

The elusive mechanism of the magnetic ‘memory’ of water

Miroslav Colic, and Dwain Morse
R&D Division, ZPM Inc., 5770 Thornwood Dr., Suite C, Goleta, CA 93117, USA

Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects
Volume 154, Issues 1-2, August 1999, Pages 167-174

It has been claimed that preliminary water treatment with magnetic or electromagnetic (EM) fields can help descale metal surfaces, improve cement hydration, change ζ potential of colloids, make plants irrigated with such water grow faster, enhance efflux of calcium through biomembranes or influence the structure of model lyposomes. The effects persist minutes or hours after the water treatment. It is well known that relaxation phenomena in water occur on a picosecond to second timescale. The nature of these ‘mysterious’ and questionable phenomena uniquely known as the ‘magnetic memory of water’ has recently been scrutinized. Based on our recent work as well as other recent publications, we propose a model for the observed phenomena. We propose that the gas liquid interface is perturbed by the action of magnetic and electromagnetic fields. As in the case of the sonochemical gas liquid interface treatment, some free radicals and/or reactive oxygen species are observed after the treatment (ozone, superoxide, hydroxyl radicals, singlet oxygen, atomic hydrogen, hydrogen peroxide, hypochlorous acid, etc.). The perturbations of the gas liquid interface relax more slowly (minutes to hours). The presence of gases, such as carbon dioxide or noble gases which promote clathrate-like structures of water, significantly enhanced the observed effects. Some reactive oxygen species such as hydrogen peroxide are also stable for hours or days in the absence of heavy metals. The ‘magnetic memory of water’, we propose, is the combination of perturbations of the gas liquid interface and the production of reactive oxygen species. This model is still speculative and will be tested by other researchers. Numerous tests in different independent laboratories are needed before any final conclusions can be mad

Effect of a magnetic water treatment on homogeneous and heterogeneous precipitation of calcium carbonate

A. Fathi et al , Water Res. 40 (2006) 1941-1950.

Abstract In this paper are reported experimental results on the effect of a magnetic field on the precipitation process of calcium carbonate scale from a hard water. Carbonically pure water was circulated at a constant flow rate in a magnetic field. After this treatment, calcium carbonate precipitation was induced by degassing dissolved carbonic gas. The nucleation time was identified from the variations of the pH and the Ca2+ concentration. The ratio between homogeneous and heterogeneous nucleation was determined from the measurement of the mass of precipitated calcium carbonate.

It is shown that the magnetic treatment increases the total amount of precipitate. This effect depends on the solution pH, the flow rate and the duration of the treatment. In addition, the magnetic treatment modifies the ratio between homogeneous/heterogeneous nucleation. Homogeneous nucleation is promoted by an increasing the pH of water, the flow rate as well as the residence time. The magnetic treatment enhances these effects with a maximum for a 15 min treatment time. It is shown that the presence of calcium carbonate colloid particles is not necessary. It is advanced that the main magnetic effects concern the associations of ionic species which are present in the solution and which are involved in the nucleation process of calcium carbonate precipitation

Biophysical Properties of Magnetized Distilled Water

I.H. Ibrahim Egypt. J. Sol., 29 (2) (2006) [link]

The title is rather unfortunate in that the author uses the term "magnetized" to mean "magnetically-treated". The author allowed drops of water to exit the tip of a burette and then pass through a magnetic field that could be varied between 0.2 - 5 kG. His results: Field strengths of up to 1.4kG had little effect, but greater values reduced the flow rate (suggesting an increase in viscosity), increased the electrical conductivity, and increased the dielectric constant. (Question: did he correct for dissolution of atmospheric gases in the water over the time period of his measurements?)

Biological effects of physically conditioned water

Water Research
Volume 33, Issue 7, May 1999, Pages 1618-1626

A. Goldsworthy, H. Whitney and E. Morris
Biology Department, Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine, London SW7 2AZ, UK

Physically conditioned water, made by passage between the poles of a magnet or by injecting a weak electrical signal, is used for the prevention and removal of lime-scale, but also has diverse biological effects. In this investigation, we have shown both stimulations and inhibitions of the multiplication of yeast cells, depending on the degree of conditioning. Weakly conditioned water is stimulatory, but strongly conditioned water is inhibitory. Conditioned water also increases the toxicity of heavy metal ions such as copper and cobalt. We suggest that these effects are due to colloidal impurities, which have been activated by the conditioning process, interacting with structural calcium in the cell membranes to make them more permeable. The stimulations may be due to the inward leakage of small amounts of calcium to stimulate metabolism by acting as a “secondary messenger”. The inhibitions may be due to more severe damage to the membranes allowing the entry of larger and more toxic quantities of calcium and, if present, other noxious materials. This is discussed in relation to the beneficial and adverse effects of conditioned water on the growth and well-being of higher organisms. Possible applications include stimulating the growth of organisms at optimum levels of conditioning, inhibiting unwanted microorganisms at higher levels and increasing the efficacy of biocides. Attention is also drawn to a similarity between the biological effects of conditioned water and those of weak electromagnetic fields. We discuss the possibility that some of the effects of electromagnetic fields on living organisms are due to their interacting with colloidal cell components and membrane surfaces by a mechanism analogous to the conditioning of water. This is discussed in relation to ion cyclotron resonance phenomena and an explanation based on our proposals given for the hitherto unexplained differences in biological responses to the resonant frequencies for calcium and potassium ions.

Apoptosis in haemopoietic progenitor cells exposed to extremely low-frequency magnetic fields

Birgit M. Reipert, Donald Allan , Siegfried Reipert and T. Michael Dexter

Life Sciences Volume 61, Issue 16, 12 September 1997, Pages 1571-1582

Epidemiological studies have indicated a modestly increased risk for the development of acute myeloid leukaemia in children who live close to high-voltage power-lines. Recent evidence has suggested that a common property shared by a number of known and suspected tumour promoters is their ability to block the process of apoptosis. Therefore, one possible mechanistic explanation for the apparent leukaemogenic effect of weak, low-frequency magnetic fields, such as emitted by power-lines and electrical appliances, would be their expression of tumour-promoting activity by interfering with the regulation of apoptosis in multipotent haemopoietic progenitor cells. In order to test this hypothesis, we have employed the well-characterized multipotential haemopoietic progenitor cell line FDCP-mix(A4). These cells are non-leukaemic and undergo apoptosis when deprived of appropriate growth factors such as Interleukin-3. We have tested a series of different regimes of weak, low-frequency magnetic fields: nulled fields, Ca2+-ion cyclotron resonance conditions at 50 Hz, and vertical 50 Hz fields of 6 μt RMS, 1 mT RMS and 2 mT RMS, exposing the cells for 2 hours, 24 hours, 4 days or 7 days under various culture conditions. We have not seen any significant alteration in apoptosis induced by any of the exposure regimes tested. We therefore conclude that the regulation of viability and apoptosis in FDCP-mix(A4) cells is not disturbed by weak magnetic fields of the magnitude and type indicated.

 The Effectiveness of a magnetic physical water treatment device on scaling in domestic hot-water storage tanks.

C. Smith, P Coetzee and J. Meyers. Water SA 29(3) 2003. Available as a PDF download.

These South African authors have produced what strikes me as a very well-done study, one of the few that reports scientifically credible evidence for the effectiveness of MWT. Their series of experiments in which one of two parallel heaters was fitted with a mermanant magnet device showed scale formation reductions varying over a rather wide range (17-70%), with an average of 34%.

Magnetic treatment of industrial water. Silica activation

A. Szkatula, M. Balanda, M. Kopec European Physical Journal - Applied Physics 18 41-49 2002 [abstract]

Their studies suggest that when silica is present in the water, it forms colloidal particles whose electric double layer, when distorted by an external magnetic field, tends to adsorb calcium and magnesium ions, thus inhibiting their precipitation on heat exchanger surfaces. Once formed, these adsorption complexes can remain intact for some time, thus explaining the "memory" effect that has been noted before. The crucial role of silica hydrosol may help explain why MWT appears to control boiler scale in some instances but not in others. It is hoped that those who manufacture and market devices for magnetic scale control will take this into account in promoting their products, and abandon the simplistic and unbelievable "how it works" explanations that are commonly presented on their Web sites. [Note: this article uses a lot of mathematics.]


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