Written by, Samuel K. Burlum, Investigative Reporter
and author of The Green Lane, a syndicated column
Published on 9/30/16, a SamBurlum.com Exclusive
Source: As a society, we put water to work for us all the time. Whether it is to use water with soap to clean a household surface, or to blend water with a detergent to clean clothing, water works in these situations due to its form and functionality of its chemistry. Here we will explore how water works with specific chemical agents’ in common day to day activities that we take for granted.
Water is one of our most valuable resources on our planet, and without it, life cannot be sustained. It is also one of the most powerful resources available to mankind. Unfortunately, this natural resource is often taken for granted, as we tend to overlook its significance in our busy day to day lives. It is important for society to have a clear understanding on how water works on our behalf, so we can gauge and temper our use of it, in order to better conserve and preserve this precious resource.
Recognizing the science on how water works puts into perspective why we should do all that we can to not taint water supplies. Water is a very sensitive element, and can be influenced to do different functions based on the environment it is introduced to and/or the chemicals we add to it. To get a greater understanding of this concept, we must review water’s basic core element.
So what is water made up of? Water is also known as H2O and consists of two (2) hydrogen molecules and (1) oxygen molecule. Hydrogen (H) molecules in and of themselves are the lightest element on the periodic chart of elements. There is no shortage of hydrogen in our universe, as it is the most abundant element available to us. Unlike many of the other elements, hydrogen has no color, taste, odor, is non-toxic, and non-metallic. When applied as a fuel, Hydrogen is also very combustible. Our other element, Oxygen, is the third most plentiful element known to man. Oxygen can be highly reactive, however it is just as important to human life as water; for oxygen is what we breathe and need for our respiratory system to function. To keep it simple, when hydrogen combines with oxygen, it forms a water molecule that we can feel.
Knowing the basis of water, and how each individual element works, we can now understand the bigger picture and how water can be influenced by outside factors in order to work on our behalf. When water is influenced to do a function such as cleaning laundry, we usually add detergent or soap, which changes the structure of these molecules and how they work. The general assumption is that the soap, or detergent, is what cleans our clothing and linens. That is not the true fact. It is the water which is what actually cleans our clothing and linens.
Water is at its most powerful state when it is broken down into parts – smaller molecule chains and clusters. This allows for it to penetrate even the minutest of crevasses in a surface of an object. Water must be fractured to achieve this function, and cannot fracture itself. It must be influenced, so that water molecules and clusters can be reduced into small enough parts to seep into the pours of the surfaces. When the water molecules and clusters reach into these pours, the dirt, or soil, then attaches and blends with the water, as the water will carry away the dirt from within the pours of the surface. Soap and detergent are added to the water to fracture it into parts. Different agents within the soap or detergent react with water better than others.
The purpose of cleaning agents such as potassium hydroxide, sodium hydroxide, potassium carbonate, and/or surfactants, when applied and mixed with water, is to disrupt the water molecule to the point that the surface tension of the water molecules are broken into parts. This allows the water molecules to become small enough to penetrate the surface in which is being cleaned. Contrary to belief, this is actually how one’s clothing and or other household surfaces become clean.
There are two basic foundational agents used in most soaps and cleaners that are utilized in fracturing water into working parts to clean surfaces. Potassium chloride (KCI) is a well-known agent in most soaps, because of its ability to react with water (H2O) as well as having the ability when applied in the proper usage, to force water to fracture its molecules into a monatomic state. Potassium chloride is also referred to as a lye solution, and is the largest ingredient in lye soap. Potassium on a molecular level has a greater influence upon a water molecule due to the way each molecule and the chemical react to one another. It is the volatility of mixing these two materials together, that factures water into its parts allowing it to be the most effective in doing its job. KCI is the most common agent for cleaning chemical blends because you need less water to clean a surface when mixing with a KCI based cleaner.
The other common base of most soaps and cleaners is sodium hydroxide (NaOH). Sodium hydroxide is also known as caustic soda and lye. This cleaning agent has been known to be used in the treatment of balancing the pH level in water. A higher pH level in water means that water is less harmful to water infrastructure pipes and plumbing; minimizing the amount of harmful metals that can settle into fresh, clean water supplies, used for human consumption. Sodium hydroxide is also used in many soaps and cleaning agents, and is powerful in handling tough cleaning jobs. Too much sodium hydroxide and a water supply can become unbearable to use as drinking water.
Mixing water with cleaning products that are derived from surfactants results in highly effective ways to clean surfaces, while also being mindful of the environment. Many surfactants, including plant based surfactants, are non-toxic and biodegradable. For this reason, cleaners that are surfactant based, are the safest and eco-friendliest to mix with water. This cleaning mixture can usually be disposed of down the drain with little or no harmful effect to drinking water supplies.
Potassium can be very useful when it is introduced in another form with water, and safe to consume by the human body. This is when it is known as potassium carbonate (K2Co3). Most sports drinks such as Gatorade or PowerAde use a form of potassium carbonate to create the electrolyte within the drink. When water is infused with potassium carbonate, a reaction occurs. Then, during consumption, the human body absorbs all of the liquid molecules faster, allowing for hydration of the cells of the body to occur. This theory makes sense because according to US Geological Survey, the human adult body is made up of sixty percent (60%) water.
Water mixed with natural elements can also be a great agent for cleaning surfaces due to the chemical reaction which occurs between water and the introduced agent. Some at home remedies for making your own home grown cleaning products include mixing distilled white vinegar with water to wipe down filthy surfaces and dirty floors. For glass, water with lemon juice has had its advocacy by individuals looking to steer away from chemicals in the home.
Water’s awesome power is also released when the surface tension of water is influenced to the point where each water molecule is broken into its monatomic state with the purpose of harnessing the individual molecules as an energy source. When folks think of water as a fuel, they first think of water for gas ideas, to power a vehicle on water, and other like ideas. HHO is a term that means ‘hydrogen + hydrogen + water’ as a fuel source to power an engine originally designed for petro fuels (gas or diesel). A more refined version of hydrogen fuel from water sources is H2, where the oxygen molecule has been targeted and eliminated. For years, inventors and scientists have researched and developed systems and technology aimed at capturing the water molecule as a fuel source to power vehicles. Some of the most well-known scholars in the field include the legendary Stanley Myer, Yull Brown (Brown’s Gas), and Jerry Smith (whom had patented his idea on this very subject matter).
When put under pressure, water a number of other applications. It is used in a pressure washer, which forces water through a small nozzle under immense pressure, and can have great effects on washing away a filthy, caked on surface covered in dirt and grease. Water when boiled and put under pressure creates a pressurized steam that can power equipment, vehicles, and even trains (as they did at in the early 20th century). All of water’s ability to act as a tool for our needs is due to harnessing its energy when disrupted, influenced, and/or combined with another outside source. Water’s energy is most noticeable when it goes from a chemical change into a mechanical change, and this is what we experience the most when water is put to work on our behalf.
Becoming better educated concerning how water, when mixed with various cleaning agents, not only benefits us in our daily lives, but effects the environment as well, is a responsibility all of society has. With this information, it is easy to conclude that what you are mixing in water to perform domestic and commercial tasks, will eventually end back into the ground with our water, possibly affecting the water sources themselves. This clearly supports the very argument of why people should look to use agents with water that will have the least effect as possible upon the environment.