Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Department of Random Outrage, 2

Also behold:

A salt lamp that “possess[es] the unique capability of generating negative ions in the air thus working as [an] ionizer. These negative ions are very essential for human beings because they purify the air, and kill bacteria and other harmful organisms and increase overall air quality.”

Magic Salt Lamp.
As in, made of table salt, Na(+)Cl(-). Where are these negative ions supposed to come from? If from the salt, NaCl must be heated to 2575°F before it boils. Decomposition temperature- the heat necessary to make it break down into separate ions of Na(+) and Cl(-) - is much higher. And you’d get both anions and cations; both are very reactive. Chlorine anions may form ozone or chlorine gas; Cl2 gas is very poisonous. Sodium metal, whether ionized or not, is extremely reactive; the metallic form is prone to exploding, as we all remember from high school chemistry demos.

It is possible to ionize air using high voltage; this is what many commercial air ionizers do. But according to JPL , they must be calibrated regularly to ensure they continue to be negative ion sources. Polonium is also used; radioactive ionizers must be replaced yearly because of polonium's short half-life. (The manufacturer assures us that the capsules are very well sealed, to prevent anyone removing the polonium.)

A naked wire may indeed ionize air; this is part of why lightbulbs are evacuated- otherwise the wire would oxidize and burn out. UV light also ionizes air; many air purifiers are based on this, plus charged plates to remove the now-ionized dust and such. In any case, a sealed lightbulb won’t do it.

[By the way, I have no financial or other interest in any of the products or sites mentioned, nor indeed in any product or site. Links are provided solely for reference and entertainment.]