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I came across alkaline ionized water as my aunts bought a system called Kangen Water from Enagic Inc. The water produced by this system is claimed to contain smaller water clusters (4-6 molecules) compared to tap water with 10-12 molecules. Besides, the ORP (Oxidation Reduction Potential) of the water is negative (-250 to -350 mV), which the company claimed to battle ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species). Of course, the company also advertised the water as having other incredible properties such as emulsifying grease, thereby can be used to remove pesticides on fruits and vegetables.

So, let alone the validity of the claim on benefits, my questions are:

  1. How can one produce negative-ORP water? Is it possible to do so with added minerals? (Just the only way I can think of, is there any other way?)

  2. What chemical/physical process is happening in the emulsification demo? Why can't tap water do so?

Please refrain from discrediting the company too quickly as I think I might have and please tell me if I formulated my question clearly enough because I acknowledge this is a fairly vague question.

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    $\begingroup$ I can't say for certain what the Kangen device is doing, but students in my department took apart one of these from another company and found an ion exchange resin that was swapping the $\ce{Cl-}$ ions in tap water for $\ce{OH-}$ ions. Does it make it more alkaline? Yes. Does it make it have different redox properties? Probably. Is it more likely to make you feel better by calming the acid in your stomach than anything else? Yes. Did it clean up the dirt and grease that it was supposed to? No. $\endgroup$ – Ben Norris May 28 '15 at 11:06
  • $\begingroup$ Do you know why the redox properties may become different when $\ce{Cl-}$ is swapped out for $\ce{OH-}$? I did the grease removing test on this device. The Kangen water didn't emulsify canola oil, which, though not pure sesame oil as in Enagic's demo, led me to be skeptical of the grease removing ability. Heck, they even claimed it would replace your 409! We paid \$4000+ on it. I'd say we mostly paid for the ion-exchange column. That's what happened when you don't ask a chemist before buying. $\endgroup$ – Huy Nguyen May 29 '15 at 8:02
  • $\begingroup$ Consider the reduction of oxygen in water with and without acidic conditions (data from here: $$\ce{O2(g) + 4H+ +4e- -> 2H2O(l)}\ \ \ \ E^{\circ} =+1.229\text{ V}$$ $$\ce{O2(g) + 2H2O (l) +4e- -> 4OH- (aq)}\ \ \ \ E^{\circ} =+0.401\text{ V}$$ $\endgroup$ – Ben Norris May 29 '15 at 10:22

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