May 13, 2022; by Ben Taylor (Silver Bulletin Health News) Over a period of seven or eight years we periodically encountered an issue that took us several years to figure out. Occasional batches of our colloidal silver product would have a slight smell and taste of sulfur. Some customers even described it as a “fishy” smell. We changed our production vats, our product transfer tubing, our product pumps, our storage tanks, and everything else we could think of; nothing seemed to work as a permanent cure of the issue.It would always disappear, but eventually would return with no pattern that we could discern.
One day while researching a chemistry website, I came across an article detailing how silverware and silver utensils became subject to tarnishing when exposed to air that contained molecules of Sulfur, usually in the form of Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S). I also found that air exposed to higher levels of gasoline and diesel engine hydrocarbons increased the concentration of atmospheric Sulfur and thus accelerated silver tarnishing. The dark tarnish showing up on silver utensils and jewelry was actually Silver Sulfide (Ag2S) which can result in a Sulfur (fishy) smell and taste. We realized that for several years we had periodic utility construction (electric, water, and Internet fiber-optic lines) going on in the hilly area where we’re located. There was a greater than normal traffic of pick-ups, large trucks, and heavy equipment digging and trenching machinery. Because of that, the valleys of this area in warmer weather were trapping higher concentrations of hydro-carbons. In turn these higher Sulfur concentrations in the air would get into our storage tanks and interact with the silver particles causing a visually undetectable amount of Silver Sulfide.
Then we discovered a double whammy. During this same period we were experiencing severe drought conditions that caused water levels to drop in the wells of our community water supply. Because of this the community water corporation had to drill new and deeper water wells. As usual the EPA got involved and since our wells were near the Sabinal River (noted as the most pristine stream in Texas), they required us to drill much deeper wells than was actually needed. Our original wells were at about 140 feet depth. In this Texas Hill Country when you get down to the 300+ feet levels, the water contains significantly higher concentrations of Sulfur that can not only be tasted but smelled right out of the tap. For a time this was the very water supply that we were using to produce our Colloidal Silver. We solved this problem by adding extra filters and reducing the storage time of our product before bottling.
Note: For anyone living in areas of high vehicle traffic, never leave your colloidal silver open and exposed to the air. If you do, the same thing we experienced in our production can occur right there in your home within a relatively short period of time. Always recap your bottles and jugs immediately after pouring.
To learn more about this phenomenon, see the references below:
What is Silver Sulfide? – Chemical Formula & Uses
SILVER SULFIDE (Wikipedia):
A reaction study of sulfur vapor with silver and silver–indium solid solution as a tarnishing test method
What does Silver and Sulfur make?
Silver and sulfur bond to form silver sulfide, or Ag2S. The chemical equation looks like this:
2Ag + S -> Ag2SSilver always loses one electron in chemical reactions, giving it a +1 charge. Sulfur, on the other hand, always gains two electrons in chemical reactions, giving it a -2 charge.
In order to form a balanced molecule, two silver ions (with a collective charge of +2) bond with a single ion of sulfur (with a charge of -2) to create a molecule with a charge of 0. Silver sulfide is what makes up the tarnish that forms on silver.
SILVER AND SULFUR: CASE STUDIES, PHYSICS, AND POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS: by Craig Hillman, Joelle Arnold, Seth Binfield, Jeremy Seppi, DfR Solutions
The Chemistry of Silver Tarnish
Ben Taylor, Utopia Silver Supplements