Ionised water is obtained by means of an electric current being passed through water, in a process known as electrolysis. As a result, the water molecule is split into positively charged hydrogen (H+) and negatively charged hydroxyl (OH–) ions. The former are included in the composition of acids, and the latter – in that of alkalis.
The decomposition of dissolved mineral salts also takes place in the process of electrolysis. Salt is a chemical element composed of positively charged metal ions and negatively charged non-metal ions (acidic residues). Alkaline metal ions – calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium – are positively charged, and non-metal ions – chlorine, sulphur, phosphorus and others – are negatively charged.
How does alkaline water ioniser work?
The ionisation process itself takes place in a special device called a water ioniser. Two electrodes – a positive cathode and a negative anode – are placed in the electrolysis chamber. Ions are attracted to their oppositely charged electrodes: hydrogen and non-metals to the cathode, hydroxyl and alkaline metals to the anode.
- Reduction takes place at the positive cathode: positive hydrogen H+ ions add electrons and release hydrogen H2. Negatively charged hydroxyl OH– ions also accumulate around the cathode.
- Oxidation, the opposite process, takes place at the negative anode: negative hydroxyl ions OH– drop off electrons and the oxygen O2 is released. Hydrogen H+ ions also accumulate around the anode.
The quantity of hydroxyl ions accounts for the alkalinity of water: the greater the quantity, the higher the alkalinity and, accordingly, the pH value. This is ionised alkaline water, also known as ‘live water’. On the other hand, the greater the quantity of hydrogen ions in the water, the stronger are its acidic qualities and, accordingly, the lower its pH value. This is ionised acidic water, also known as ‘dead water’.
Both alkaline and acidic water acquire and maintain completely different properties over the course of time.
The electrolysis chamber of water alkalizer, filled with tap water, is divided into two sections by special mebrane partitions inserted into one another. Tiny partition pores allow dissolved salt ions to pass through but prevent the passage of water molecules, which are much bigger. Thus these pores prevent the water in the different sections from mixing and enable it to preserve its newly acquired and different properties. However, if both the alkaline and acidic water is poured into the same container, the tap water will assume its initial characteristics.