Particle Surface Area and Effectiveness

In the booklet "Silver Colloids" Professor Gibbs wrote "The size of the particles in the colloidal silver suspensions we use for health purposes is very important. Particle size controls the surface area and therefore the effectiveness of the colloidal silver suspension."

Particle surface area is the property of a colloid that translates directly to the ability of the colloid to react with its environment. The effectiveness of colloidal silver is predicated on particle surface area, just as in the world of chemistry where surface area determines how well substances react with one another, or stated another way, reactivity increases with increasing surface area. For this reason particle surface area is the single most important property of a colloid, not the concentration (ppm) which many people mistakenly believe is the most important. For a more complete discussion of the rationale for comparing colloidal silver products using the particle surface area as a single valued metric see: Comparing Colloidal Silver Products

Particle surface area increases as the concentration of metal particles increases. Colloids that have the highest percentage of their metal content in the form of particles will have the highest particle surface area. Therefore, colloids that are mostly ionic will have a low particle surface area since most of the metal content is in the form of metal ions not particles.

Particle surface area increases as the particle size decreases. The highest particle surface area is achieved when there is a high concentration of nanometer or sub-nanometer sized particles. While this is the desired result, it is also the most difficult to achieve. Colloids containing high concentrations of large particles as found in silver protein products will have low particle surface area.

To better understand the effect that particle size has on surface area we will consider a U.S. Silver Dollar. The silver dollar contains 26.96 grams of coin silver and has a nominal diameter of 40 mm (1.574 inches). The total surface area of a silver dollar is approximately 27.70 square centimeters. If the same 26.96 grams of coin silver were divided into particles 1 nanometer in diameter, the total surface area of those particles would be 11,400 square meters which is equal to 122,708 square feet, or 2.817 acres. When the amount of coin silver contained in a silver dollar is rendered into 1 nm particles, the surface area of those particles is 4.115 million times greater than the surface area of the silver dollar.

For more details on the relationship of particle surface area as a function of concentration and particle size, see the Colloid Surface Area table.

A more technical discussion on particle surface is found here.

High silver concentrations found in silver protein products do not translate into high particle surface area values because the silver particles found in protein products are very large. There are silver protein products on the market having silver concentrations of 500 to 20,000 ppm, yet these products generate the lowest particle surface area values per ppm of silver concentration due of the large size of the silver particle found in these products.

Column #2 of the Comparison Chart shows particle surface area values for the tested products.

The single most import attribute of a silver colloid is particle surface area; the higher the particle surface area, the more effective the colloid.

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