How does Oxy-Powder® Release Nascent/Monatomic Oxygen?
Is It Really Monoatomic?
As early as 1845, reference to nascent oxygen – then speculated to be monoatomic oxygen – first appeared in the technical literature. The references were found in discussions regarding the discovery of ozone, some five years earlier by the German chemist Christian Schonbein. At that time, the molecular structure of ozone was yet unknown. In 1924, the first reference thought to be the first actual identification of a monoatomic form of oxygen was found and labeled “nascent” oxygen. This term came from the Latin nasci or nascentum, meaning to be born – the connotation being that this oxygen form was “newly born.”
As new and better analytical methods were developed, our understandings of the highly reactive oxygen forms became more precise and the nomenclature was changed to reflect the new information. The term “nascent” shifted back to “monoatomic” and was later modified to “monatomic”, and is now most often referred to categorically as “singlet” oxygen. The latter term has more to do with the configuration of the electrons than to the atomic or molecular configuration itself. In popular literature, all of the above terms can be found. Singlet oxygen is now identified as being any of many highly reactive forms of oxygen, both monatomic and diatomic.
From 1978 to the most recent review, 143 U.S. Patents were issued using the term monatomic oxygen in the text. During the same time period the term monoatomic oxygen was used in 78 issued patents. The term nascent oxygen appeared in 418 patents while singlet oxygen appeared in 2655, and Reactive Oxygen Species appeared in 2203. In most cases, the patents were for production methods of high-energy forms of oxygen, while others were for methods to protect against the oxidants. As one can see, the term monoatomic has become least popular in the technical world, even though its usage continues in the popular press and literature directed toward the lay market.
In biochemistry, the term singlet has often given way to the term “Reactive Oxygen Species” (ROS). ROS has been further broadened to include such oxidizers as hypochlorous acid (HClO), hardly a oxygen specie, by strict definition. So now throughout the technical and popular world, we have a confusion of terms – nascent, monoatomic, monatomic, singlet and reactive oxygen species. It is beyond difficult to select a suitable term that will be understandable and acceptable to everyone at all academic levels. Is the now archaic term “nascent” a safe term to use? What about ROS?
The term ROS in the field of nutrition carries with it negative connotations. ROS are credited with damaging the mitochondrial DNA leading to premature aging and disease, as well as having other deleterious affects. The nutrition industry expends a substantial amount of money and energy marketing products designed to protect against evil ROS, without regard for the fact that that our immune system relies on ROS to destroy bacteria and viruses. Even the facultative Probiotic bacteria such as acidophilus, secrete hydrogen peroxide, much to the benefit of the colon. It matters little that many metabolic functions use ROS in one form or another, in the normal state of affairs. In spite of the fact that ROS are essential in many metabolic functions, the negative connotations prevail. Therefore, without regard for scientific fact, it is apparent that we should not use the term ROS in describing our product due to its negative connotations.
Today we have much scientific evidence that monatomic oxygen species exist everywhere around us, not just in outer space. These species are found with a variety of electron configurations. The literature describes five known forms and several other forms that are postulated on empirical data.
The known monatomic species include the oxygen atom:
- in its first ground state (3P)
- in its first excited state (1D)
- in its second excited state (1S)
- as the oxygen cation (O+)
- as the oxygen anion (O-)
Another group of postulated monatomic species include oxene (‑O-) in its various allotropic forms. At last literature search, these and other species were yet to be fully quantified. However, there is sufficient data to strongly suggest oxene participation in metal-organic reactions, including the reactions in the catalytic cycle of cytochrome P-450 and in other biological systems as well.
The rate at which these ROS are produced is dependent upon several factors. These include but are not limited to, pH, temperature, degree of hydration, presence of transition metals, type of organic materials present, and concentration and type of antioxidants present.
There is now vast literature identifying the various allotropic and electron configurations of oxygen. Several international academic institutions host special conferences devoted to this subject.
Moscow State University, Russia, is one of the leading institutions studying reactive oxygen species and their varying atomic and molecular structures in living systems. We anxiously await each new information release as their research on singlet oxygen and other ROS continues.
Away from the living systems – more akin to the physics of space – we have the following cited research along with subsequent research conducted by Carolyn Aita, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Michel Marhic, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois (now at Swansea University in Wales):
Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces, and Films — January 1983 — Volume 1, Issue 1, pp. 69-73
Optical emission from neon/oxygen rf sputtering glow discharges
C. R. Aita, Materials Department and the Laboratory for Surface Studies, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201
M. E. Marhic, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60201
The results of an optical emission study of neon and oxygen species which exist in Ne/O2 rf diode sputtering glow discharges are presented. Comparing emission intensities in pure Ne and Ne/O2 mixtures at constant total gas pressure, it was found that the addition of O2 to the sputtering gas quenches Ne i emission and increases emission from O i and O2+ species to a greater extent than that which would be expected from the relative changes in neon and oxygen concentrations, respectively. Although this effect could be caused by a change in the electron density and electron energy distribution function, the correlation between Ne i, O i, and O2+ emission suggests that metastable neon atoms may interact directly with ground state diatomic oxygen molecules in two competing ways: (1) by Penning ionization which produces O2+ and (2) by a quasiresonant transfer of excitation which leads to the production of O. The results are compared to those previously obtained for Ar/O2 discharges using identical sputtering conditions, where the dominant interaction between the rare gas and O2 leads entirely to the production of monatomic oxygen.
How do you attach or stabilize this “Oxygen” in the production of Oxy-Powder®?
With the assistance of such distinguished researchers as Aita, Marhic, and others, our knowledge base has greatly expanded. Many process modifications and refinements have resulted, but there are many factors that remain constant. We are unable to answer all technical inquiries in detail, as that would compromise the security of the proprietary methodologies employed in the production of our product. However, general descriptions of the technology can be discussed.
The initial reaction in our process takes place with the employment of corona discharge plasma. Variables include amplitude, oscillation frequency, waveform, capacitance, temperature, pressure, flow rate, selection of catalyst and inert gas composition and ratios. Oscillation frequencies approaching 200,000 Hz with electrical fields from 80,000 to 120,000 volts are typical in the production of the ultra-high energy oxygen forms using corona discharge plasma (Certain types of ozone generators use a rather primitive version of corona discharge). Variations in voltage, capacitance and oscillation frequency affect concentration and also can affect the electromotive strength of the singlet forms through differences in electron pairing and ionization. Waveform and inert gas involvement affects structure while temperature affects stability. Pressure, flow rate and type of catalyst affect production rates. Although conditions within the plasma are not identical to the conditions believed to exist in the heliopause and in the lower exosphere – well above our atmosphere, where monatomic and various other singlet oxygen species are formed – the end results are similar.
The most difficult aspect of the process comes during the attachment of the highly reactive oxygen species to metallic compounds, while simultaneously achieving the necessary levels of stability. We have been successful in attaching various reactive oxygen species to aluminum, barium, calcium, lithium, magnesium and titanium. Most singlet forms have a lifespan measured in nanoseconds to milliseconds, making predictable and controllable attachment problematic. The attachment portion of the process must remain proprietary.
In order for the final product to deliver a slow, steady supply of oxidant over an extended time period, it is necessary to provide a predictable and controllable destabilizing mechanism. In this case, it is the hydrogen ion from a source delivered with a limited degree of ionization. The selection of citric acid as the destabilizer provides a limited yet compatible degree of ionization, sufficient to affect slow destabilization over several hours. Once the destabilization has occurred, the resulting singlet form is short-lived, delivering its energy to any available acceptor.
Regarding the reported antioxidant action of citric acid, rather than being a direct antioxidant, citric acid inhibits the catalytic action of transition metal compounds, such as Fe+++ and Cu++, from catalyzing the formation of ROS in biochemical systems. In the absence of transition metals, citric acid has little or no antioxidant properties.