What is Ozone?
Ozone is an isotope of oxygen. It is a strongly oxidizing gas. Ozone exists in the atmosphere, mainly in the ozone layer in the lower stratosphere, which is about 20 kilometers above the earth’s surface. The short-wave ultraviolet radiation from the Sun is harmful for human health. Ozone can absorb a certain amount of ozone and prevent it from reaching the Earth. Sometimes, during a thunderstorm, some of the oxygen in the air may be struck by lightning, from which some ozone gas can be generated. As a result, people can smell a special, refreshing smell. That is ozone.
How is Ozone Found?
The discovery of ozone is not in recent years. Ozone was found in an experiment by Dutch chemist Martinus van Marum in 1785. German-Swiss chemist Christian Schonbein later identified it as a compound in 1840. In the following decades since then, in Europe, ozone came into use in water sterilization, medical and food storage fields.
Is Ozone Risky?
For ozone, different people have different opinions. It is true that breathing ozone directly can irritate the lungs and cause symptoms such as coughing and chest pain. Ozone is therefore considered dangerous. That’s true scientifically. These symptoms can occur if ozone is inhaled directly. However, it’s important to note that ozone has been recognized as GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) by the USDA and FDA. When ozone is used as a strong oxidant for space and surface sterilization, odor removal, water treatment, and other applications, the concentration and duration of ozone application will be controlled and monitored. Ozone has a very short half-life. It will be converted to oxygen about 30 minutes after its formation. With proper monitoring and control measures, the safety of ozone application can be promised. Therefore, there are no safety concerns when using ozone in the above applications. When the physical property is mentioned, the sterilization with ozone will be similar with that with the tap water sterilization with chlorine. Chlorine, or chloramines, used to disinfect tap water are highly toxic chemicals. They have long been widely used in the sterilization of tap water and playing a very good role in the urban water supply. We do not ingest them directly. Therefore, they will not be able to pose any health risks to human health.
Ozone will be More Effective
At an approved dose, ozone handles a wide variety of water-borne pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, yeasts, molds, cysts, mildew and more. On the contrary, chlorine cannot do this. E. coli and giardia may even develop resistance to chlorine over time. In terms of the speed of the treatment, compared with water chlorination, ozone has a strong oxidation ability. Ozone can finish the treatment at a speed about 3000 times faster than traditional chlorination treatment. According to statistics, ozone water at a concentration of 1 ppm is equivalent to the effect of chlorine solution at 50 ppm. For iron, manganese and other minerals that may exist in water, chlorination will be powerless. Ozone cannot eliminate these metals directly either. However, ozone, through its flocculation, can make these minerals easier to be removed by other methods.
Ozone is Safer
Although ozone water treatment is not yet as commonly used as chlorination, its effectiveness has been professionally recognized. With the advancement of ozone application technology, ozone water treatment has been safer and more convenient. No risky byproducts will be produced in the ozonation process. After the process of ozonation and simple filtration, the treated water will be free of any impurities. Compared with ozonation, water chlorination will inevitably leave toxic byproducts behind. If not used properly, chlorine residual from the chlorination will combine with other compounds in the water to form trihalomethane (THM). THM, which is highly carcinogenic, can cause cell damage. In the process of ozone treatment, excessive ozone will soon be converted to oxygen. Ozone treatment method will not change the smell, taste or pH. value of the water. For water sterilization in swimming pools, the excessive ozone dissolved in water will not irritate the skin, nose or ears.
The Use of Ozone will be More Economical
The initial investment cost of ozone equipment is higher than that of chlorination. However, an ozone system is designed for long-term use. The long-term cost of ozone treatment will be lower than water chlorination in a long run. Within 1-2 years, an ozone system will be more cost effective than a chlorination system. Using ozone treatment instead of chlorination can eliminate a variety of problems including the storage of toxic chemicals, the costs associated with the transport of the chemicals, the significant chemical carbon footprint, and the possibility of potential technical risks during the use of toxic chemicals.
A Brief Comparison between Ozone Generators and Air Purifiers
Air purifiers filter dust, pollen and other particles in the air by mechanical filtration or electrostatic adsorption to improve the cleanliness of the air. The action process takes place inside the device, which is a physical reaction process. When used for space or surface sterilization, ozone generators are used to kill bacteria, viruses and other harmful microorganisms by generating ozone gas to achieve the sterilization. The process of action occurs externally, which is a chemical reaction process.
Notice for Ozone Sterilization
1. Since when ozone is inhaled into the human body, it will cause the irritation to the lung and respiratory tract. So, when a room is being treated with an ozone generator, no person, animal, or plants will be allowed into the room.
2. Ozone is erosive to rubber and leather materials. It will accelerate the aging of the rubber and leather materials. When a garage will be treated with ozone, please pay attention to the treatment time. It is suggested to use ozonated water at a low density to wipe the interiors of a car.