Electrolyzed Water 2261 Introduction

Electrolyzed oxidizing (EO) water, also called strongly oxidizing water, strongly acidic electrolyzed water, or acidic oxidative potential water, has recently attracted interest in medicine, agriculture, and food processing for purposes of sanitation.

An EO water generator usually contains a power supply, and a pair of electrodes (i.e., anode and the cathode) installed in two individual cells that hold sodium chloride solutions separated by a specialized membrane (Figure 22.4). When electrolyzing saline solutions, hydrogen is generated in the cathode side and chlorine is generated in the anode side. The chlorine further reacts with water to form HOCl and HCl. EO water is then produced in the cell installed with anodes and electrolyzed reducing (ER) water is produced in the cell installed with cathodes.

EO water contains free chlorine and has a high oxidation-reduction potential (ORP, above 1000 mV) and low pH (around 2.3). ER water exhibits a high pH (above 11.0), low redox potential (RP, below 800 mV), low levels of dissolved oxygen, and high levels of dissolved molecular hydrogen. The chlorine gas, HOCl, and OCl ions contained in EO water contribute to the availability of uncombined chlorine radicals or free available chlorine, the primary component responsible for the disinfection ability of EO water [87-89]. A generator without a separating membrane produces water at pH 6.8 because HCl formed on the anode side neutralizes NaOH on the cathode side [90]. EO water can be preserved for one year under shaded and sealed conditions [91], but EO water becomes inert after three days when exposed to light.

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