Using Silver to Purify Water

September 22, 2014

As it turns out, there’s more to silver than just looking pretty. This precious metal we often associate with jewelry and fancy silverware could also have the amazing ability to help purify water.

As a water purifier and bottled water manufacturer, we at Azure Water like to share interesting water news as we come across it. In this blog, we discuss how silver can be used to help disinfect drinking water.

Type of Silver

There are a few types of silver used for water purification. One is known as colloidal silver. A colloid refers to a substance in which particles are suspended throughout another substance. In the case of colloidal silver, it is silver particles suspended in liquid. Other types of silver used are silver nanowires with an electrical pulse sent through them and silver particle-laden filters.

History of Silver Purification

History of Silver Purification

Silver as a purifier has actually been around for centuries. It was used in Egypt for surgical purposes and in ancient Greece and Rome as a way to keep liquids fresh. In America, when settlers began moving west, they would drop silver dollars in their water supplies to help keep them pure. Silver eventually gained importance in the medical community as well, with hospitals sending water through hot copper-silver filters to help kill unwanted bacteria. NASA even used silver to help purify drinking water for astronauts in the 1960s.

How it Works

Silver’s role in purifying water is to help destroy bacteria. There are two main ways silver can be used to do this. One is by putting silver nanoparticles, along with other helpful purifiers like carbon and ion exchange resins, in a filter that water must run through. The bacteria gets trapped in the filter and killed by the silver so that it cannot leach into the clean water supply later. The other way silver can be used is through an electrified filter. A cotton cloth can be covered in silver and carbon nanostructures, dipped in water and then electrocuted to purify water. Unlike most filters, which trap bacteria, this type of filter does not remove the bacteria, but rather kills them making the bacteria inert.

We hope you found the process of silver purification as interesting as we did. To learn more about our own water filtration method here at Azure Water, visit the Our Water tab on our site. You can also call or reach out to us on our contact form with any questions you have about our water.

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