Ozone, what is it?
Ozone is the strongest chemical disinfectant and its use in water treatment (ozonate the water) it is becoming more and more common. Ozone (O3) is an allotrope of oxygen with three oxygen atoms. The word ozone comes from the Greek ozein, which means “to smell.” In the air the O3 It has a very characteristic odor, this is detectable by most people in concentrations greater than 0.1 ppm.
Dissolved in the water ozone begins its decay process and forms hydroxyl radicals (HO ·), these also react with microorganisms to inactivate them. However, the action of the direct reactions of O3 with pollutants, they have a higher disinfection performance than the hydroxyl radical. For this reason, the addition of a residual concentration of this is recommended to ensure the integrity of the water.
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How does Ozone work in water?
The reaction with which ozone inactivates the microorganisms present in water is an oxidation in which oxygen, water and inactive microorganisms are generated:
How is ozone generated?
It is unstable (explosive) in high concentrations (> 23%) and under environmental conditions it degrades easily. Therefore, unlike chlorine gas, it cannot be stored in pressurized tanks. This can be generated by photochemical, electrolytic and radioactive methods. The most common method is corona discharge. In this method, oxygen is passed through an electric field, which is generated by applying a high voltage potential across two electrodes separated by a dielectric material (Figure 1). As oxygen molecules pass through the electric field, they break into highly reactive oxygen ions (O ·), these radicals react with each other to form O molecules3. The thickness of the gap through which the gas stream (rich in oxygen) passes is 1 to 3 mm.
Fig. 1. Ozone generation by corona discharge
Since most of the energy in ozone generation is lost as heat, the cooling of the O3 generator is necessary to avoid overheating that causes it to decompose. The cooling process is accomplished by running cold water close to the ground electrode.
Ozone can be generated from oxygen found in the air or from pure oxygen. The most accessible source to generate it is ambient air, It contains about 21% of oxygen by volume. However, this has been replaced by liquid oxygen, except for systems in remote plants.
Injection system to ozonate water
Previously, the most common system to dose ozone into water was to use a container with a porous diffuser at the bottom, which was responsible for bubbling the O3 and this in turn made contact with the water throughout the entire column. Recently, the injection system and the contact system are designed separately. For the dosing system a venturi injector is used, connected in the line with a bypass (Figure 2), after injection of O3 on the line, it is directed to a contact chamber where disinfection reactions are carried out. These chambers can be pipe systems, coils, or baffles.
Fig 2. Bypass arrangement for in-line venturi installation.
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Last updated: 16/04/2021