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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2017, Article ID 2410794, 10 pages
Research Article

QELBY®-Induced Enhancement of Exclusion Zone Buildup and Seed Germination

1Department of Bioengineering, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
2Department of Mechanical Engineering, The State University of New York Korea, Incheon 21985, Republic of Korea

Correspondence should be addressed to Gerald H. Pollack; ude.notgnihsaw.u@phg

Received 15 November 2016; Revised 6 January 2017; Accepted 18 January 2017; Published 1 March 2017

Academic Editor: Peter Majewski

Copyright © 2017 Abha Sharma et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A hydrophilic powder, QELBY, from the feldspar family of clay minerals was investigated for its ability to form structured or exclusion-zone (EZ) water. We demonstrated microsphere-free zones around different fractions of the QELBY powder or its hydrated pellet. Averaging approximately 100 μm, these zones grew to a size similar to that formed in the vicinity of the Nafion standard. In the case of silica (control), only occasional microsphere-free zones of about 70 μm were found. Further, studies to investigate QELBY’s energizing effect on germination and early sapling growth in brown chickpea seeds showed at least a 2-3-fold increase in root length and/or formation of shoots. This was seen in seeds bathed in QELBY supernatants or surrounded by QELBY powder outside the vials containing the seeds. This indirect effect was observed whether the QELBY was dry or hydrated.