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It's not all about magnets. Two other nonchemical water treatment systems that have exhibited at Greenbuild for at least the last couple years are worth noting... for one reason or another. During the '06 show in Denver, I spent some time learning about the VRTX—say it "vortex"—sidestream "hydrodynamic cavitation" and filtration system. The company was there again this year. As I understand it (and please do understand that I don't claim to really understand it), it works by blasting two spinning, high-velocity cones of water into each other, which releases high localized heat, creates a strong vacuum, and generally bangs things into each other. A paper assessing an installation at the Ford Motor Company describes it like this:
The VRTX unit consists of a pressure equalizing chamber and a cavitation chamber. Inside the cavitation chamber, nozzles are positioned opposite each other at specific distances, lengths and angles. Water is pumped into the pressure-equalizing chamber at ~94 psig and then channeled into the cavitation chamber. Inside the cavitation chamber, water is forced to rotate at high velocities through the nozzles. The rotation creates a high vacuum (~ -28.5 mm Hg). The high vacuum causes micro-sized bubbles to form and grow in the water streams. The water streams in the nozzles are greatly accelerated and rotate in opposite directions. Upon exiting each nozzle, the opposing streams collide at the mid-point of the cavitation chamber where the pressure increases dramatically causing the spontaneous implosion of the micro-bubbles.
The process is claimed to induce calcium to precipitate; suck dissolved C02 out of the water, which drives up the pH, helping control scale and kill bacteria; and physically rupture the cell walls of microorganisms. Scale and biofouling prevention without chemicals, and potentially saving a lot of water through significant blowdown reduction. It's been on the market for 10, 15 years. The website has the usual compelling case histories—but, like the magnetic systems, statements are made without detailed hooks to hang the science on. (Doesn't necessarily mean it doesn't work.) Could be that it's more info than most people want... but some of us are curious that way. The company may have additional technical literature; I'm planning to ask. One striking thing about VRTX is that they provide a service package and performance contract emulating the ones that the chemical industry offers. For a fixed monthly fee, the company will provide and install their treatment and filtration system, do monthly service and water analysis, monitor bacteria, deploy corrosion coupons, and more.

And then there's—oh boy—Natural Technologies, Inc. If you've been looking for something to flip your wig, dig into this. I'm doing my level best to keep an open mind, but this is a toughie. From the manufacturer's website:
Treatment involves passing the subject water through or around the GRANDER® Technology equipment. The equipment contains sealed chambers of water that has already been placed into a coherent, highly ordered molecular condition at the manufacturing facility in Austria. Acting as a singular system, this water develops a physical field that Johann Grander describes as positive information. When the subject water comes into contact with the information field, the properties of the field are conveyed to the water through molecular resonance. Through interactions within the information field, the degree of correlation, or coherence, within the subject water is increased and the water's molecular structure is improved.
Basically, a sealed vial of magic water (from Austria, not Lourdes) is placed in the flow path. Energy fields emitted by the vial transform the process water into a self-healing state. No electricity, no magnets, no chemicals, lasts forever. (Well, they suggest an expected lifespan of 15 years—but then add, "The life span of a unit will believably continue to lengthen as the GRANDER® Technology continues to grow in the marketplace." Please tell me I'm misinterpreting that.) Yes, they have case studies. Of course they do. I asked them at the show to send me technical literature, but haven't received anything yet. I suspect, if something comes, that it will be this brochure.

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Comments

1 It is good to see that non ch posted by Rodrigo Romo on 08/05/2008 at 07:23 am

It is good to see that non chemical water treatment systems are gaining recognition in these days. I would like to invite you to visit the following website: http://www.zetarod.com for a look to another non chemical water treatment technology. Sincerely

R.Romo

2 Mr. Piepkorn, I was one of th posted by Michael Mark on 09/04/2008 at 02:28 pm

Mr. Piepkorn, I was one of the founders of Natural Technologies, Inc., actually just saw this post, and would like to provide you and your readership with some general information on the subject of water- specific technologies notwithstanding. I think your comments regarding non-chemical water treatment technologies reflect a general ignorance across all design communities- green or otherwise- regarding the full spectrum of water’s properties, capabilities, and functions. They also are not in keeping with recent published scientific literature on the general topic of water’s structure and functions.

For some very interesting links and information on water that many will find informative and interesting, and that have nothing to do with our product (which I am happy to discuss with anyone interested in so doing), I submit the following:

1) On the notion that the structure of water is just as important as its composition, and containing an excellent refusal to accept “the common error in rejecting new scientific discoveries by using the absence of evidence as evidence for absence”, a paper entitled The Structure of Liquid Water; Novel Insights From Materials Research; Potential Relevance to Homeopathy:

http://www.rustumroy.com/Roy_Structure%20of%20Water.pdf

2) Great, great work by biophysicist Dr. Mae-Wan Ho is available here:

http://www.i-sis.org.uk/SO_water.php

I highly recommend her book entitled The Rainbow & the Worm for anyone interested in the physics of living organisms. It contains great information on how living systems continue to dodge steady-state thermodynamic bullets, and discusses water’s unique role in living processes.

Great fact: Energy received from the sun as light is maintained “in circulation” like an energetic currency within the biosphere for an estimated 20-40 years because of the way living systems utilize and transform the energy into a myriad of forms.

Light hits a leaf, is converted into electrons and dragged into chemical processes whereupon it becomes part of the plant itself, and the plant biodegrades and the light is consumed by bacteria, then the bacteria consumed by a worm, consumed by a bird, excreted into the ocean, consumed by algae, consumed by fish, and on and on it goes.

Non-living systems don’t play that game of energy storage and circulation. Rocks absorb sunlight and simply warm up, and dump heat to the environment whenever the environment is cooler than they are. Their energy patterns are based upon their mass and specific heat: not their bio-physico-chemical self-perpetuating patterns…

A house with thermal mass can absorb heat and temper swings in internal temperature. A house with biodiesel can utilize the heat absorbed by living systems (the plants that became biodiesel) at any time, because that energy has been stored in a coherent form (as stable chemistries with a high energy potential waiting to be released).

Water is very much part of this dance, and its properties in relationship to the coherent electromagnetic structures of living systems are important. Coherent energy storage is also not just chemical; in fact with respect to living systems it is quite often electronic.

According to Dr. Ho: “The precise role of organized biological water in transmitting and perhaps amplifying electromagnetic signals has yet to be defined, but a growing number of us suspect that water may be playing the lead role in living processes [27] ( Water's Effortless Action at a Distance , SiS 32).“

3) Lastly, papers such as this surely suggest there is more to water, and water’s role, than is commonly known or taught today.

“Coherent Dynamics in Water as a Possible Explanation of Biological Membranes Formation”. Del Guidice and Preparata, 1994, Journal of Biological Physics.

Fuchs, Elmar C., Woisetschläger, Jakob, Gatterer, Karl, Maier, Eugen, Pecnik, René, Holler, Gert, and Eisenkölbl, Helmut. “The floating water bridge.” J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 40 (2007) 6112-6114.

http://www.physorg.com/news110191847.html

“The scientists explain that the unusual effect of the floating water bridge, as well as the microstructures they observed during the interaction of water with electric fields, could be another piece to the puzzle of the structure of water. The group said that they are currently investigating how highly ordered microstructures may explain the density change in the water bridge, with the results to appear in a future publication.”

I am happy to discuss our product, but the product will never be understood if the broader role of water within the dynamic structure of living processes is not considered.

Best Regards,

Michael Mark


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