Magnetic and electromagnetic field induced kinetic effects on aqueous solutions with a focus on the iodine clock reaction

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McNaughton, Andrew John (2022) Magnetic and electromagnetic field induced kinetic effects on aqueous solutions with a focus on the iodine clock reaction. Research Master thesis, Victoria University.


Chemical and physical phenomena arising from the exposure of aqueous solutes to magnetic and electromagnetic fields have been widely researched and the associated scientific literature consistently reports physical, chemical, and kinetic effects across a wide variety of experimental settings. However, no consensus has been forthcoming regarding underlying mechanisms, with inconsistency in replication being a major issue. An extensive review of this research area has been conducted and forms a major part of this thesis. In regard to this area of research, an experimental program has been designed and carried out, albeit within the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic, to explore the effect of magnetic and electromagnetic fields on the rate aspects of a well-known chemical reaction. Thus, this project utilizes the bromate-iodine clock reaction, whereby selected chemical reactants have been exposed to both a 0.3T static magnetic field and the pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) of a previously characterized water treatment device. A major focus in terms of experimental design was placed upon temperature control and UV-Vis absorbance analysis techniques, incorporating appropriate software and inputs, to accurately track kinetic reaction rates relative to controls. The data for these experiments reflect the relative rates of appearance of the maximum blue coloration (352 nm) due to triiodide/starch complexation under different magnetic and PEMF exposures for selected reactants. The two sets of aqueous reagents that have been exposed to 0.3T magnetic and PEMF treatments (both 180 min) are: “A” - consisting of sodium iodide (5.984 x 10-1 mM), sodium thiosulfate (1.493 x 10-1 mM) and starch indicator (1.995 x 10-1 mg) and “B” - containing sodium bromate (1.236 mM) and hydrochloric acid (1.545 mM). Due to time constraints all combinations of exposure were not possible, but the following results have been established. A (no exposure)/B (magnetic) – no significant difference in rate; A (magnetic)/ B (no exposure) – no significant difference in rate; A (PEMF)/B (no exposure) – significant (SE) increase in rate. An attempt has been made to explain the observed increase in the rate of appearance of the blue triiodide/starch complex, upon PEMF exposure of reagent A, with reference to relevant theory in the literature. Thus, it is proposed that the starch amylose double helices are partially or completely disassociated by PEMF exposure, thereby facilitating a faster reaction rate due to a higher proportion of single stranded amylose being available for triiodide complexation.

Additional Information

Master of Research

Item type Thesis (Research Master thesis)
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 3401 Analytical chemistry
Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 3406 Physical chemistry
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities
Keywords electromagnet fields, aqueous reactants, bromate-iodine clock reaction, pulsed electromagnetic field, magnetic exposure, ionic hydration, molecular hydration, ionic-molecular complexation, H2O, magnetic field electrochemistry
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