Ozone (O3), sometimes called ‘activated Oxygen or super charged Oxygen’, contains three atoms of Oxygen rather than the two atoms we normally breathe. Ozone is the second most powerful sterilant in the world and can be used to destroy viruses, bacteria and odors. Interestingly, Ozone occurs quite readily in nature, most often as a result of lightning strikes during thunderstorms. The fresh, clean, spring rain smell that we notice after a storm most often results from nature's creation of ozone.
Physical Properties of Oxygen and Ozone
While ozone is the triatomic form of oxygen the differences in physical properties are vast. While oxygen is not detectable by the human nose, ozone has an extremely low odor threshold. Humans have the ability to detect ozone before many expensive measuring devices. Also, ozone in air at high levels (greater than 0.1 ppm) is hazardous to human health.
The solubility of ozone is 13 times greater than oxygen. The electrochemical potential of ozone is much higher than oxygen which leads it to be one of the most powerful oxidants on earth. This oxidation potential allows ozone to break down contaminates and kill bacteria faster than most chemical alternatives.
Chemical structure of ozone
Three molecules of oxygen will recombine to form two molecules of ozone. Two of an ozone molecule’s three atoms are bonded strongly, as in oxygen. The third atom is loosely bonded, making ozone gas 10 times more soluble in water than oxygen. Ozone has 24 protons, 24 neutrons, 24 electrons, and an atomic weight of 48. In comparison to oxygen, where atoms are linked in a straight line, the ozone molecule is bent at a bond angle of 116.8°, a configuration that makes the ozone molecule more electrically active.
Due to the unique properties of ozone, there are distinct advantages and disadvantages of ozone use in the industry.
Advantages of Ozone
Before WOLF Ozone protektion treatments -
- Strongest disinfectant.
- Strongest oxidizing agents.
- Environmental friendly.
- Adds no chemicals.
- Leaves no residual (only oxygen).
- Allows ozone-advanced oxidation OH-.
- Can lower overall operating costs.
Disadvantages of Ozone
Before WOLF Ozone protektion treatments -
Unstable- must produce as needed.
System must be designed with personnel safety in mind.
Did You Know?
Ozone gas is pumped into food and vegetable packing to protect them during transportation. Ozone is used to preserve Beer Hops to keep them fresh during storage. Ozone is extensively used in Hydroponics (growing vegetables without soil). There are nearly 2800 toxic chemicals in cigarette smoke and ozone is effective against more than 80% of those chemicals that have been identified so far. Ozone has been used in hundreds of water treatment plants around the world. Some common uses for Ozone are: drinking water purification, wastewater treatment, sanitization and disinfection, deodorizing of smells, cooling tower water management, swimming pool water management, effluent treatment and industrial oxidation processes.
Ozone is a strong oxidizer that is generally not harmful to mammals at low concentrations, but lethal to microorganisms such as bacteria. However, ozone, like any other strong oxidizing agent, can be harmful if not handled properly.
Potential Health Effects
Inhalation :Ozone causes dryness of the mouth, coughing, and irritation of the nose, throat, and chest. It may cause labored breathing, headaches, and fatigue.
However, the characteristic sharp, pungent odor is readily detectable at low concentrations (0.005 to 0.02 ppm).
Corrective Measure : Move to fresh air, loosen tight clothing around the torso. Call for medical attention if necessary. If breathing is difficult, a trained person/EMT should administer oxygen at 15 lpm via non-re-breather.
Skin : Absorption through intact skin is not expected.
Corrective Measure : Wash skin thoroughly with soap and water.
Eye Contact : Ozone can be an irritant to the eyes, causing minor inflammation.
Corrective Measure Flush eyes with large amounts of water for at least 15 minutes while forcibly holding eyelids apart to ensure flushing of the entire eye surface. If irritation, pain, or other symptoms persist, seek professional medical attention.
Ingestion : It is not a route of exposure.
Aggravation of Pre-existing Conditions: Ozone may increase sensitivity to bronchia constrictors, including allergens, especially individuals with asthma.
Chronic Condition : Long term health effects are not expected from exposures to ozone. A partial tolerance appears to develop with repeated exposures.
Ozone production from Corona Discharge Engine
How does a Corona Discharge Ozone Generator work?
The heart of every ozone system is the ozone generator. Ozone (O3) is created from Oxygen (O2) in nature and in ozone generators for commercial or industrial applications, however Ozone (O3) quickly reverts to molecular Oxygen (O2). Ozone cannot be stored due to a short half-life and must be produced on-site and on-demand. Therefore, the ozone generator is the most important component of any successful ozone system.
Fundamentals of Corona Discharge
Ozone is produced from electrical discharge, commonly referred to as a spark. Huge ozone production happens from lightning during a thunderstorm. The “fresh” smell after a thunderstorm is actually ozone.
Any electrical discharge, or spark will create ozone. The spark will split the oxygen molecule (O2) found in ambient air into elemental oxygen (O). These Oxygen atoms will quickly bind to another oxygen molecule (O2) to form ozone (O3). The electrical energy used in ozone generation splits the oxygen molecule.
In a corona discharge ozone generator, the electrical discharge will take place in an air gap within the corona cell designed specifically to split the oxygen molecule and produce ozone. In this air gap a dielectric is used to distribute the electron flow evenly to as great a volume of oxygen as possible. Using a dielectric the spark is spread over a greater area and creates a true corona. It will require up to 20,000 volts of electricity to run between the Corona cell to create Ozone and we use a proprietary engine for this purpose.