Ozone water and air systems, used in water purifiers, ozone for pools, treatment plants, swimming pools, spas and jacuzzis.
But what is ozone?
The ozone molecule is composed of three oxygen atoms. And two oxygen atoms form the basic oxygen molecule, the one we all breathe. The third oxygen atom eventually forms ozone and detaches to bind to molecules of other substances, thus altering their chemical composition. This ability to react with other substances, especially organic substances, is what generates its oxidizing power.
What does ozone do in water or air treatment?
Ozone is a powerful oxidizing agent that, when it comes into contact with water or the environment, has the effect of reducing and oxidizing organic matter or microorganisms. Ozone is a gas that is applied at the point of use so, being very volatile, it lasts very little time in the liquid or container that contains it.
It is a broad-spectrum biocide that has a high reduction-oxidation capacity, so it destroys organic molecules, bacteria, viruses and cysts. Ozone has been used commercially for water treatment since 1904. The great advantage of ozone is that it does not leave a residual in the water that generates bad taste or that cannot be consumed by people or animals.
We can observe in the following table the comparison of its Redox Potential with other oxidants:
The Redox Potential of the most common oxidizing elements
This oxidation capacity is defined by its Redox Potential or reduction and the higher this is, the greater its disinfectant power in the water to eliminate microorganisms.
How do ozone generators work?
Ozone formation is produced with the use of electrical energy. The two commercial methods by which ozone is generated are:
By means of an electrical discharge field, also called corona discharge (lightning that forms an electrical field), and the second by means of ultraviolet radiation, or UV-type ozone generators.
In addition to these methods, ozone can also be generated by electrolytic and chemical reactions.
Corona discharge ozone generators pass clean, dry (oxygenated) air through a high-voltage electrical discharge, which creates an ozone concentration of approximately 1% or 10,000 mg/L.
UV ozonation is most common for small systems, while more industrial systems use corona discharge.
Methods of ozone contact in water
Injection directly into the pipeline
The water to be treated or raw water that goes through the pipe, by means of a Venturi inserted in the pipe, creates a vacuum and drags the ozone gas into the water so it is a constant injection and by means of a calculation the amount required for disinfection is determined. Sometimes if the water contains metals, the ozone reacts with these and creates insoluble metal oxides, further filtration is required.
Bubbler in a contact tank
When we are going to store water and we want it to be free of microorganisms we can bubble from the bottom of the container that contains the water to directly inject the ozone. This is very common in water purification plants that are going to store water for a few days before bottling.
How does ozone work for indoor air disinfection?
As with water, ozone for environmental use is calculated based on the square meters of the area to be disinfected and is released directly in the place, which due to its oxidizing power must be done without people present during the disinfection of the place by the ozone generator.
The use of ozone in air purification to eliminate mold is a common practice. Mold spores in the environment can be harmful to health, especially to the lungs and respiratory system, cause asthma and allergies, so their removal is always a priority.
Elimination of bacteria, germs and viruses: These can cause diseases, these microorganisms are not perceptible to the eye and if there is a source of possible infection such as the kitchen, bathroom, or cold rooms, warehouses, movie theaters, theaters that can generate germs, increasing the likelihood of disease because they are closed places.
Odors removal: The most common use of an ozone generator is the elimination of odors of organic origin. This can be useful in various applications, such as hotel rooms, smoking places for cigarette odors, pet odors, food storage areas. Or simply want to remove an unpleasant odor from your home. In this application it is much more efficient than using perfumes or cleaning products to counteract odors with fragrances.
Can ozone cause damage to health?
The same oxidizing chemical properties that allow a concentration of ozone to react with organic matter and destroy it, give it the ability to react with organic matter, it does so with our body and can cause damage to health.
When inhaled, ozone can cause damage to the lungs. Low amounts can cause chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath and throat irritation. Ozone may also aggravate chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma and compromise the body’s ability to fight respiratory tract infections.
That is why if you are going to handle ozone, do it without the presence of people or animals, disinfect for one or two hours, move the air out of the place before it is occupied again by people. In water use it directly in the water and if you are going to consume the water that has been treated with ozone, wait a couple of hours after having been injected into the water to make sure that it has already evaporated.