The Cleaning Power of Degassed Water
|April 21, 2011||Posted by karmadsen under blog, Groundwater and Surface Water, Hydrocarbons|
We don’t normally think of water as being the powerful solvent that it is because the water that we come in contact with is already full of dissolved minerals and gasses. Earlier this week, I wrote about how demineralized water is too reactive to be sent into distribution systems because of its corrosive effect on pipes.
Ultrapure water, used for a variety of industrial purposes, is often demineralized and degassed. Degassification of water is the processes of purifying water by removing dissolved gasses. It can be accomplished through a variety of methods, such as freezing water with liquid nitrogen or pumping it through a porous membrane.
In natural waters, tiny bubbles of oxygen and nitrogen adhere to the surface of the oil and prevent it from dispersing readily in water. In 2005, Richard Pashley, a researcher at the Australian National University in Canberra, found that oil was readily dispersed by degassed water, which can completely strip hydrocarbons like Vaseline from cloth.
Ultrapure water, completely degassed and demineralized, is a used to clean microchips of impurities during manufacturing. In his book, The Big Thirst, Charles Fishman quotes water engineer, Lindsey Stahl, saying that the ultrapure water used by IBM and purified by 18 different processes, is 10 million times cleaner than regular tap water. Eric Berliner, an environmental manager at the site, tasted it: “It was horrid. I stuck my tongue in it. It’s very bitter. Horrible.”
Fishman, C. (2011). The Big Thirst. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster. pg 48.