Department of Food Science and Technology, Oregon State University, 100 Wiegand Hall, Corvallis, Oregon 97331, USA.
In the anode side of a two-chamber electrolyzer, electrolysis of a NaCl solution generates acidic electrolyzed oxidizing (EO) water, which exhibits bactericidal effects against a large number of pathogens. This study was undertaken to investigate whether OH radical species are present in EO water or are formed when EO water reacts with iron ions. Electron spin resonance spectroscopy (ESR) coupled with the spin trapping technique was used for the detection of free radicals. Samples of EO water were collected at 0.5, 1, 2, 3, and 5 min of electrolysis and immediately mixed with the spin trapping agent 5,5-dimethyl-1-pyrroline-N-oxide (DMPO). The 5,5-dimethyl-2-hydroxypyrrolidine-N-oxyl (DMPO-OH) spin adduct, characteristic of OH radicals, was not observed. Starting with 2-min electrolysis, a seven-line spectrum characteristic of 5,5-dimethyl-2-pyrrolidone-N-oxyl (DMPOX) was formed. The reactions of EO water with Fe3+ and Fe2+ in the presence of DMPO yielded the spin adduct DMPO-OH. However, the addition of OH radical scavengers (ethanol and methanol) did not generate the characteristic DMPO-alkyl spin adducts. This indicated that the DMPO-OH spectrum was due to a nucleophilic addition of water to DMPO and not to trapping of OH radicals.