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Water and minerals: the chemistry of life

If you thought water was a simple, innocent molecule, think again. Water is from far one of the most fascinating substance on our planet. Water remains one the major mysterises of the Universe. It supports life like no other substance does as chemical reactions in all plants and animals take place in water medium, releasing or consuming water in their metabolism. Life on Earth totally depends on water as living organisms are largely composed of water – about 70 to 90 percent by weight, and above 99 percent by absolute number of water molecules.

Water is vital both as a solvent in which many of the body's solutes dissolve and as an essential part of many metabolic life processes. Without water, these particular metabolic processes could not exist. Most of chemical reactions occur in the cell itself.

Water plays a central role in biological and chemical, especially acid-base, processes. Equally important to our comprehension of the structure and dynamics of water is understanding the role it plays as a solvent facilitating long-ranged charge transport of species such as ions, excess protons and hydroxide ions. The excess proton and hydroxide ion, both particularly important in acid-base chemistry and bio-molecular function, plays an important role in the metabolism of all organisms as reflected by the wide variety of chemical reactions in which they take part. Ions are cofactors of enzymes, catalyzing basic functions such as electron transport, redox reactions, and energy metabolism; they are essential for maintaining the osmotic pressure of cells too.

 

Water, the universal solvent

Water is often referred to as the universal, superb solvent. Mainly due to the marked polarity of the water molecule and its tendency to form hydrogen bonds with other molecules. All of the components in cells (proteins, DNA and polysaccharides) are dissolved in water deriving their structure and activity from their interactions with water. Water dissolves more substances in greater quantities than any other common liquid making water key important in chemical, physical and biological processes.

 

Oxidation-reduction reactions

Basically, reduction means the addition of an election (e-), and its converse, oxidation means the removal of an electron. The addition of an electron, stores energy in the reduced compound. The removal of an electron, liberates energy from the oxidized compound. Whenever one substance is reduced, another is oxidized. In biological systems, removal or addition of an electron constitutes the most frequent mechanism of oxidation-reduction reactions, frequently called redox reactions.

 

Water is an acid and a base

Water can be both an acid and a base, depending on how you look at it. Water can even react with itself to form acid and bases. It happens in really small amounts; chemists have determined the concentration of H3O+ at 25°C as being very low: only a few molecules per billion will be dissociated. Dissociation of water forms an acid that increases the concentration of hydrogen ions (hydronium H3O+ also known as hydrated H+) and a base that increases the concentration of hydroxide ions (OH-). This can be amplified by using electrolysis process to drive an otherwise non-spontaneous chemical reaction.

The degree of acidity or alkalinity of a solution is measured in terms of a value known as pH, which is the negative logarithm of the concentration of hydrogen ions. Scientists have defined a pH scale which ranges from 0 on the acidic end to 14 on the alkaline end, a neutral solution being at pH 7. At pH 7 water contains equal concentrations of H+ and OH- ions. Substances with pH higher than 7 are alkaline as having a higher concentration of OH- than H+ and vice versa for acidic substance with pH lower than 7 containing a higher concentration of H+ than OH-. The pH scale is a log scale so a change of 1 pH units means a tenfold change in the concentration of hydrogen ions.

 

ph and chemistry: avoid misunderstanding

Be aware that high or low pH does not necessarily means that a product is corrosive or not. Do not mistake pH and chemistry. pH is defined by hydrogen ions. pH meter device estimates the amount of hydrogen (H3O+) passing through the glass membrane from the electrode potential value. In other words, pH meter does not directly measure hydrogen ion concentration. The number displayed by pH meter is the value converted from electrode potential to pH.

You can drink Cola which has a pH of 2-3 (weak acid) but any student having knowledge in chemistry knows well that we cannot drink any solution of a strong acid (such as hydrochloric acid) at the same pH value, which would definitely create a problem... The same for high pH. In other words, we cannot judge if a product is safe or not solely by its pH. The same for lemon which is very acidic, but turns to alkaline once ingested. Important is to look at its reaction's behavior and the reaction which is generated.

Advanced Water S-100 is the most innovative water in the world in terms of mineralization, pH and biocompatibility: once in contact wtih human skin and its organic acids, pH is quickly neutralized to natural skin's pH level.

 

Did you know?

Ashes when mixed with rainwater ends up in a very high and safe pH of about 11. Wood ashes are not toxic; combined to rainwater or demineralized water, its high pH stimulates the growth of plants, as we can observe after wild fires, where new plants quickly emerge from a burned soil covered with ashes.
This is the magic of nature.

When grass and plants benefit

Wood ashes offer significant potassium, but their greatest potential benefit to lawns comes from alkalinity (high pH). Thes ashes have properties similar to lime products used to raise soil pH. For example, lawn grasses generally prefer slightly acidic soil in the 6.0 to 7.0 pH range, but high-fertilizers tend to lower soil pH over time. Many countries have naturally acidic soil. When soil pH drops below 6.0, it limits the ability of plants to take up essential nutriments, including nitrogen, phosphorus and iron. Lawn beauty, health and resilience suffer. If your soil is acidic or potassium-deficient, wood ashes can help your grass to grow.

ADWATIS SA  |  Boucle de Cydalise 1  |  2300 La Chaux-de-Fonds  |  Switzerland
ADWATIS SA
Boucle de Cydalise 1
2300 La Chaux-de-Fonds
Switzerland