When assessing the quality of a colloidal product, it is important to look at the following factors: particle size, concentration and total working area. In this article, we explain these in detail, reveal some common myths and provide real independent laboratory reports to highlight these discrepancies in the market.
Effective working surface
Many people assume that concentration is the best way to determine the quality of a colloidal product. However, this can be quite misleading if other factors are not taken into account. It is like looking at one part of the equation, but not the whole.
First, it is important to understand how the effective working surface is defined and how it relates to concentration.
The effective surface area is defined as the total surface area in centimetres (cm2) of all particles in one millilitre (ml) of a colloid. It is important to note that particle surface area is inversely proportional to particle size, meaning that for a constant concentration of particles, surface area increases as particle size decreases.
For example, if you have a colloidal solution of 10 PPM with a particle size of 1 nanometer, the total effective working area is 6 m2 . If you have the same concentration of 10 PPM, but now the particle size decreases from 1 nanometer to 0.65 nanometer, then the total effective working area increases from 6 m2 to 7.1 m2.
Particles per million (PPM) concentration
PPM stands for parts per million. Concentration is expressed in parts per million and is numerically the same as milligram of silver per litre of water (mg/l).
The concentration of a colloid is often expressed in PPM. Parts per million, or PPM for short, is the measure of the mass of a chemical, metal or contaminant per unit volume of water. One PPM is equal to the absolute fractional quantity multiplied by one million.
For example, the following similarities can help you understand PPM better:
- 1 second in 11.5 days
- 1 minute in 2 years
In other words, PPM expresses how many milligrams of our colloidal particles are present for each litre of water. So a colloidal silver product of 10 PPM will contain 10 mg of silver in one litre.
The particle surface area for colloids is an extremely important calculation because it determines the overall effectiveness of the product. The particle surface area directly determines the ability of the colloid to react with its environment. The conclusion is therefore: the higher the particle surface area, the more effective the colloidal silver.
Furthermore, you will never find colloidal silver with a particle size smaller than 0.65 nanometres, because it cannot be made smaller. This is because it consists of the minimum number of atoms required to form a particle. For silver this is 20 atoms.
The concentration of a colloidal metal or colloidal mineral in a liquid is indicated by ppm, which is equal to parts per million, which is again equal to the number of milligrams per litre (mg/l).
The only good method for measuring the concentration is by means of ICP (Inductively Coupled Plasma). In the Zuyd University report on colloidal gold you will find a good explanation of this measurement principle.
ICP measurements are performed with rather expensive (tens of thousands of euros) and specialised equipment. That is why we outsource these measurements to certified laboratories.
Many people use a ppm meter, which can be bought for tens of euros. These meters measure conductivity.
The conductivity of the liquid increases as the concentration of particles increases. A common mistake is not taking into account that ionic silver is many times more conductive than colloidal silver, because the ions of the ionic silver have a charge. If the same concentration of ionic and colloidal silver is used, the conductivity meter will indicate a much higher concentration with ionic silver.
This phenomenon explains why many products contain only a fraction of the silver indicated on the packaging. The measurement is simply wrong.
Another point to consider when measuring conductivity is the temperature of the liquid. The conductivity of a liquid depends on its temperature. One must therefore always correct for the temperature.
So one can actually conclude that it is impossible to measure the concentration of colloidal silver with a ppm meter that uses the conductivity. Unfortunately, however, this is quite common. This gives a completely wrong impression of the quality.
Keeping high quality colloidal silver and other claims made by ionic silver producers:
Do you use colloidal products such as colloidal silver? And do you want to continue to do so for as long as possible? Then it is important that you store them properly. In this blog you can read everything about storing colloidal minerals.
Storing colloidal minerals: glass or PET?
There are many wild stories about the storage of colloidal minerals. For example, colloidal silver should absolutely not be stored in plastic and only glass is suitable. This is usually mentioned by suppliers who do not know the product well enough. Real colloidal minerals can perfectly be kept in plastic, but not every type of plastic is suitable.
Real colloids consist of particles and not of ions. Therefore, no glass bottles are needed. Our products are shipped in PET plastic bottles. PET stands for polyethylene terephthalate, a form of polyester. PET is often used to package soft drinks, water and fruit juice and is the most common drink bottle produced today. A product that must necessarily be kept in a glass bottle is an ionic product and not a true colloid.
The ionic silver solutions produced by home hobbyists are usually light-sensitive and will deteriorate in a short time if not shielded from visible light. Keeping such solutions in amber bottles reduces the deterioration of the product. Most photosensitive solutions are produced using the low-voltage direct current process, often using several 9-volt batteries. The requirement for an amber bottle indicates a photosensitive, unstable solution. Only the lowest quality solutions are photosensitive. High-quality products are not light-sensitive and do not need an amber bottle.
Many of these theories about plastics are based on ionic silver. As you may know, ionic silver water consists of silver ions and water. These ions lack an electron, which makes them unstable. This is why the ions are always looking for an electron and, in combination with chlorine, create silver chloride. Unlike ionic silver, colloidal silver is a stable product. The silver particles contain an electron and water will not cause a reaction. That is why colloidal silver can be stored in PET or PE bottles. These bottles do not contain any substances that could increase conductivity. As a result, the water remains of optimal quality and you don't need to throw it away after a week.
Our products come in a blue-coloured PET bottle that protects the product from external influences. In addition, the bottles have a handy flip-top cap that makes them much easier to use. You also get a spoon and a pipette. Hygienic but also a lot easier to use.
Where to store?
In order to guarantee quality for as long as possible, it is not only the product and its packaging that are important. The place where you store the product also contributes to the best possible quality. It is best to store the colloidal minerals away from direct sunlight in a dry place at room temperature. The colloid should never be allowed to freeze, as this breaks the colloidal suspension and makes the solution ineffective. Cooling is not required for any of the products.
There are some additional things to watch out for. Do not drink directly from the bottle to maximise shelf life and avoid contamination. Always pour from the bottle into a spoon or cup and make sure never to pour unused liquid back into the bottle.