how does copper kill pathogens?


how does copper kill pathogens?

In: 190

Copper is a metal. When metal reacts with water – either in liquid form or through air moisture – it oxidizes. We call this “rusting” when it applies to metals. The first kill mechanism is this rusting, when the process of creating rust molecules, copper pulls electrons from the membrane of the bacteria’s cell wall lipids, oxygen or proteins. Oxidizing copper atoms weaken the bacteria when they pull these electrons from the atoms that make up the cell wall. Just like pulling bricks from a wall, eventually the cell wall breaks, killing the bacteria.

Generally copper ions enter a microbe and then either react with molecules in the microbe which make it unable to function normally which doesn’t necessarily kill it but inhibits it, or they act as a catalyst (speed up a reaction without being part of the reaction) of a molecule which then damages the microbe directly.

It’s hard to really get into more detail without prerequisite knowledge.

It also messes with snails. I put coped bands around the stalks of any plants that attract snails and they can’t cross it.