A Next Generation Catalyst
OxyCat® is the success story of a cost-effective and ecologically sustainable technology. Our greatest selling points: Our product its eco-friendly, more cost-effective than other solutions; and technologically unique.
Copper and Silver – Historically Verified
The idea to use group 11 metals – silver and copper – for water contamination protections has been around a lot longer than our patent: Ancient romans used these metals to get clean water.
Today, silver is used in the form of dissolved ions or silver complexes. It is widely used in outdoor equipment, as well as for combined preparations of chlorine and silver which are often used during travels to exotic countries. However, silver is not approved for traditional treatment of drinking water. Its approval is limited to the preservation of drinking water and the protection of drinking water systems. And now also approved: The OxyCat® oxidation catalyst as a processing aid!
Silver – A Critical Appraisal
Free silver ions used to be classified as cytotoxins. The main targets of silver ions are sulfurous enzymes which are crucial for the energy metabolism of each cell. Other negative effects include destruction of cell membrane and interference with DNA replication. Due to these negative effects, strict threshold values and recommendations apply to the application of silver ions in drinking water preservation.
Human Medicine and the Environment
Many medical experts are skeptical about the use of free silver ions. For example, there are no silver preparations approved for oral application (see Geraldine Nagel, www.onmeda.de). Aquatic forms of life are also highly sensitive to silver. Therefore, its relaese into nature is widely opposed.
However, there is no direct correlation between a measured silver concentration and the antimicrobial effect. Therefore, original assumptions about the mechanism do not fully describe reality.
ROS: Pure Water through Self-Purification
Since the turn of the millenium, we have seen an increased use of nano silver. Since then, we have known that factors such as contact with the silver surface, chemistry and shape of particles have an impact on effectiveness.
Studies on nano silver and silver ion solutions have shown that contact with a silver surface, or rather the formation of highly reactive ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) are the crucial processes. Since nano silver is viewed rather critically, we have been focusing on ROS formation on macroscopic surfaces.
Silver ions are very powerful oxidizing agents. Current studies show that silver ions create highly active oxygen intermediates under anaerobic conditions in drinking water. Those ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) intermediates play a crucial role in the self-purification process. The discovery: Oxidizing power of silver is the key mechanism.
Use of Silver
Common „open“ use of silver ions is widely disapproved of these days. Adding silver to water in the form of silver ions has the following implications:
Silver – Yes or No?
As stated above, there are of course many reason why one might argue against the use of silver. The problem, however, is not the group 11 metals themselves but their intentional release.
So, what should we do? We need to stabilize and permanently harness the oxidizing power of silver, instead of wasting it and needlessly contaminating drinking water in the process. That is why we keep the oxidizing power mounted firmly onto the catalyst surface. Silver has been used as a heterogenous oxidation catalyst in the industrial sector for many years: That means we are resorting to an established technology. Our mission: Retrieve the potential of these catalysts at room temperature, as well as in aqueous media.
Oxidation and Catalysis
Oxidizing power (reactivity) plays a crucial role when using oxygen as a natural disinfectant. And we can already see an increase in reactivity in the presence of silver ions in aerobic media. But: you have to accept all of the disadvantages listed above!
Our solution: Transfer the chemical potential of silver onto a fixed catalyst surface via microelectrodes. The potential transferred by energy-rich electrons is sufficient for activating natural oxygen. This active oxygen (ROS) immediately transforms harmful substances into H2O und CO2. In nature, enzymes are in charge this transformation process.