Notices
Results 1 to 17 of 17
Like Tree1Likes
  • 1 Post By billvon

Thread: Negative Ion Generators

  1. #1 Negative Ion Generators 
    KJW
    KJW is online now
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    1,508
    I would like the opinion of the forum on the following:

    Negative ion generators: Woo or not woo?


    There are no paradoxes in relativity, just people's misunderstandings of it.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    65
    I have owned ion generators for 30 years.

    They do remove contaminates from the air.
    This changes the smell of the air.

    To what else are you referring?


    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Key West, Florida, Earth
    Posts
    4,788
    They really not that great but some people seem to like them.
    When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.
    Jimi Hendrix
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Moderator Moderator Cogito Ergo Sum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    2,519
    Quote Originally Posted by KJW View Post
    Negative ion generators: Woo or not woo?

    I consulted the Wikipedia article about negative ion generators (NIGs) and I saw that there was not much information about its efficacy.
    Google Scholar did not reveal any interesting articles about NIGs.

    At the moment, I cannot comment on whether or not NIGs are based on pseudoscience.
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Time Lord Paleoichneum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Washington State, USA
    Posts
    5,269
    Quote Originally Posted by G O R T View Post
    I have owned ion generators for 30 years.

    They do remove contaminates from the air.
    This changes the smell of the air.

    To what else are you referring?
    out of curiosity, how do they do this?
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    65
    A functioning device cannot be based on pseudoscience.

    If there are any questions of woo or pseudoscience, you must make a claim to debunk!

    Negative ion generators charge a pointed tip with high negative voltage. Electrons jump off of the tip and attach to molecules in the air. The electrostatic charge makes them attracted to surfaces with Earth potential. Pretty simple. Electrostatic air cleaners operate the same way but also provide positively charged collection surfaces for charged particles to stick to. If the electric field (voltage @ distance) is too strong, some ozone is created.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    KJW
    KJW is online now
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    1,508
    Quote Originally Posted by G O R T View Post
    A functioning device cannot be based on pseudoscience.

    If there are any questions of woo or pseudoscience, you must make a claim to debunk!

    Negative ion generators charge a pointed tip with high negative voltage. Electrons jump off of the tip and attach to molecules in the air. The electrostatic charge makes them attracted to surfaces with Earth potential. Pretty simple. Electrostatic air cleaners operate the same way but also provide positively charged collection surfaces for charged particles to stick to. If the electric field (voltage @ distance) is too strong, some ozone is created.
    The question of pseudoscience isn't about the physical operation of the device, but rather about the physiological effects of positive and negative ions and the benefits of generating negative ions, and this is why the question was placed in the "Health & Medicine" forum.
    There are no paradoxes in relativity, just people's misunderstandings of it.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8  
    exchemist
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    London
    Posts
    3,355
    Quote Originally Posted by G O R T View Post
    A functioning device cannot be based on pseudoscience.

    If there are any questions of woo or pseudoscience, you must make a claim to debunk!

    Negative ion generators charge a pointed tip with high negative voltage. Electrons jump off of the tip and attach to molecules in the air. The electrostatic charge makes them attracted to surfaces with Earth potential. Pretty simple. Electrostatic air cleaners operate the same way but also provide positively charged collection surfaces for charged particles to stick to. If the electric field (voltage @ distance) is too strong, some ozone is created.
    Interesting explanation. But something nags at me: since the air itself is composed of molecules, how does this process selectively ionise just the molecules you describe as contaminants?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #9  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    65
    Quote Originally Posted by KJW View Post
    The question of pseudoscience isn't about the physical operation of the device, but rather about the physiological effects of positive and negative ions and the benefits of generating negative ions, and this is why the question was placed in the "Health & Medicine" forum.
    Then why were no claims of physiological effects made?
    Make them now.

    Bricks, woo or not?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #10  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    65
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Interesting explanation. But something nags at me: since the air itself is composed of molecules, how does this process selectively ionise just the molecules you describe as contaminants?

    Free electrons tend to end up attached to large molecules or clumps of molecules because this requires less energy to modify their total charge. Still, electrons attach to gas molecules near to the electron emitter because of the local energy differential and are repelled away from it creating a slight breeze. The additional electron will jump to another molecule that it bumps into later if it is in a lower state.

    Years ago when I was really interested in them I built a big one. It would coat the nearby walls with dust, smoke tars, rubber particles, you name it.
    Sometimes the air would have that smell like after a storm.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  12. #11  
    KJW
    KJW is online now
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    1,508
    Quote Originally Posted by G O R T View Post
    Then why were no claims of physiological effects made?
    I assumed the claims of physiological effects were common knowledge.


    Quote Originally Posted by G O R T View Post
    Make them now.
    They are not my claims, but I did read about them in a book I purchased about 20 years ago. However, it was something that I saw on television quite recently that brought this topic to my attention again. I don't wish to bias the claims one way or the other by providing a second-hand account of them.
    There are no paradoxes in relativity, just people's misunderstandings of it.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  13. #12  
    exchemist
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    London
    Posts
    3,355
    Quote Originally Posted by G O R T View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Interesting explanation. But something nags at me: since the air itself is composed of molecules, how does this process selectively ionise just the molecules you describe as contaminants?

    Free electrons tend to end up attached to large molecules or clumps of molecules because this requires less energy to modify their total charge. Still, electrons attach to gas molecules near to the electron emitter because of the local energy differential and are repelled away from it creating a slight breeze. The additional electron will jump to another molecule that it bumps into later if it is in a lower state.

    Years ago when I was really interested in them I built a big one. It would coat the nearby walls with dust, smoke tars, rubber particles, you name it.
    Sometimes the air would have that smell like after a storm.
    Right, so you are saying the electron affinity of more complex molecules is greater than that of the small diatomic molecules of nitrogen and oxygen, so that they more readily form anions. Is that right? I'm not sure if this is necessarily so.

    The example you give, on the other hand, and your reference to electrostatic filters, relate to suspended particles rather than molecules, don't they?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  14. #13  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    65
    Electrostatic air cleaners incorporate negative ionizers.

    Suspended particles are clumps of molecules.

    The ionization energy of nitrogen and oxygen are quite high.
    Organics compositions are lower and most metals are much lower.
    It is obvious that many electrons end up on larger particles, possibly because a particle containing thousands of electrons is not disturbed so much as a molecule having only 16. It could be that the affected particles require a lower ionization due to their composition including certain atoms. I don't care, any diatomic nitrogen and oxygen that do not lose extra electrons to airborne particles simply lose the electron to a surface they contact.

    Ionizers are used to clean the air of various particles now including germs. Any effects on the human body remain unproven scientifically. The idea that anions can enter the body through breathing without losing their charge certainly seems to be woo, but specific claims need to be made.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  15. #14  
    exchemist
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    London
    Posts
    3,355
    Quote Originally Posted by G O R T View Post
    Electrostatic air cleaners incorporate negative ionizers.

    Suspended particles are clumps of molecules.

    The ionization energy of nitrogen and oxygen are quite high.
    Organics compositions are lower and most metals are much lower.
    It is obvious that many electrons end up on larger particles, possibly because a particle containing thousands of electrons is not disturbed so much as a molecule having only 16. It could be that the affected particles require a lower ionization due to their composition including certain atoms. I don't care, any diatomic nitrogen and oxygen that do not lose extra electrons to airborne particles simply lose the electron to a surface they contact.

    Ionizers are used to clean the air of various particles now including germs. Any effects on the human body remain unproven scientifically. The idea that anions can enter the body through breathing without losing their charge certainly seems to be woo, but specific claims need to be made.
    OK fair enough, though in the case of anion formation it would be electron affinity that would be important rather than ionisation energy. My only point is that I suspect this effect works best for particulates rather than gas phase molecules. I have my doubts that it could remove say traces of an organic vapour from the air.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  16. #15  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    65
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    [
    OK fair enough, though in the case of anion formation it would be electron affinity that would be important rather than ionisation energy. My only point is that I suspect this effect works best for particulates rather than gas phase molecules. I have my doubts that it could remove say traces of an organic vapour from the air.
    One of the first uses for ionizing electrostatic air cleaners was to collect waste sulphuric acid vapors from a DuPont chemical plant.
    Of course acid vapors would be in the form of tiny suspended droplets. The problem with gasses is that they would resist permanent separation without being confined. Now an anion of some specific gas may form a new affinity for some catalyst that it normally would not. The catalyst would perform the permanent separation.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  17. #16  
    exchemist
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    London
    Posts
    3,355
    Quote Originally Posted by G O R T View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    [
    OK fair enough, though in the case of anion formation it would be electron affinity that would be important rather than ionisation energy. My only point is that I suspect this effect works best for particulates rather than gas phase molecules. I have my doubts that it could remove say traces of an organic vapour from the air.
    One of the first uses for ionizing electrostatic air cleaners was to collect waste sulphuric acid vapors from a DuPont chemical plant.
    Of course acid vapors would be in the form of tiny suspended droplets. The problem with gasses is that they would resist permanent separation without being confined. Now an anion of some specific gas may form a new affinity for some catalyst that it normally would not. The catalyst would perform the permanent separation.
    Yes that all seems to make sense, thanks.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  18. #17  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    2,222
    Quote Originally Posted by G O R T View Post
    A functioning device cannot be based on pseudoscience.
    Sure it can. There are plenty of perpetual motion machines out there that function but do not do what they claim to do. There are also a lot of devices that work just fine - but people ascribe pseudoscience results to them.

    Negative ion generators charge a pointed tip with high negative voltage. Electrons jump off of the tip and attach to molecules in the air. The electrostatic charge makes them attracted to surfaces with Earth potential. Pretty simple.
    Agreed. However simple air filters (i.e. a fan and a filter) have been proven to be more effective.

    Electrostatic air cleaners operate the same way but also provide positively charged collection surfaces for charged particles to stick to. If the electric field (voltage @ distance) is too strong, some ozone is created.
    Ozone will be created by any ion generator; there is no way for ions to "skip" oxygen molecules when deciding where to bond. Ozone is harmful to living things, including bacteria and humans. (Which is one reason ozone generators are used in hospitals.)
    KJW likes this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

Similar Threads

  1. Negative Magnetic Polorization To Increase Negative Polorized Projectile Velocity
    By bryan in forum Personal Theories & Alternative Ideas
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: January 10th, 2012, 03:17 AM
  2. Alternating Generators
    By jsmith613 in forum Physics
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: June 3rd, 2010, 03:32 PM
  3. Replies: 2
    Last Post: December 27th, 2009, 06:48 PM
  4. Motors and Generators
    By jeheron in forum Physics
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: March 3rd, 2007, 06:59 AM
Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •