23 Feb 2019

Does Alum make water alkaline or acidic - and what are its health benefits?

I've recently read that slightly alkaline water has numerous health benefits over slightly acidic water that we typically drink. With that, I began finding if stirring a piece of alum in water makes it acidic or alkaline. 

My confusions are quite basic - 

First - what do we really use at home -: Al2(SO4)OR the generic: XAl(SO4)2·12H2O ?  - Where X = Potassium, Sodium or Ammonium. 

Second - Does it really alter the pH of water-solution? 

Third - Are there any health benefits of dissolving Alum in water apart from purification? 

Would really appreciate if someone could throw light on this. Would appreciate your responses.

23 Feb 2019

The chemical commonly called alum is potassium aluminium sulphate. It has been used in water purification since the time of Romans. It is perfectly safe to use. It’s main purpose is to coagulate and precipitate fine particulate contaminants in raw water. After this most of it is removed by settling and filtration. If you are using municipal water, it already has alum.

Alkaline water for health and longevity is a myth promoted by the manufacturers of equipment for making such water. Most antacid pills are alkaline.

The acidity of normal water is negligible and has no effect on health.

Human saliva is slightly alkaline, which can control such acidity.

https://www.hunterwater.com.au/Resources/Documents/Fact-Sheets/Water-Quality/ALUM-IN-DRINKING-WATER_MAR2011.pdf


When I was a kid I used to grow large single crystals of common chemicals like cooking salt, Sodium Nitrate, and the top of the lot- Alum. With a bit of potassium permanganate added I grew lovely octahedral pink crystals about an inch and a half size. More than sixty five years back. You brought back some happy memories.

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