First, before getting into the subject of ozone water treatment, let's consider some aspects about ozone, itself.
Ozone occurs in Nature. It is created naturally either by:
Have You Ever Smelled the Rain.....? (song)
Have you ever smelled the clean, fresh scent in the air just after a rainstorm? ...... That's the ozone!
Ozone is very unstable. It cannot be stored or transported as can other liquids, gases.
This instability makes Ozone a powerful oxidizer.
It is said to be:
Explanation - the How:
At the instant that ozone is created, the oxygen (O2) molecules in the air are broken apart and then recombined with an extra oxygen atom (O3).
It becomes a tri-atomic form of oxygen. O3 is very unstable - it does not last long.
It is that extra oxygen atom (O1) that is the oxidizer of impurities it encounters. The by-product of ozonation is oxygen.
Thus - there are no harmful by-products - unlike the traditional chemical purifiers, chlorine or bromine process.
..... upper Atmosphere, above the Earth, we find the Ozone Layer.
This is a 'cloud' of ozone that hovers. It protects us from harmful UV rays emitted by the Sun.
How Ozone Works
Oxidation occurs through a collision between the Ozone molecule and the
molecule of such impurities as: certain forms of iron and manganese
bacteria, fungi (mold & yeast) viruses, organic molecules
Technically-speaking (for just a quick minute).... .
... ozone is created when high voltage electricity is passed through oxygenated air, causing oxygen to break apart and recombine in the tri-atomic form.
Energy transfers to the ozone molecule leaving a stable oxygen molecule (O2) and a highly unstable oxygen atom (O1).
The molecule being oxidized then bonds with the loose O1 atom creating an oxide of the substance.This simply means that the by-product is oxygen.
During the oxidation reaction, organic molecules are changed, and dissolved metals are made no longer soluble.
Excellent question! Good News:
It can be created commercially, using: a UV (ultra-violet) lamp and an Electrical discharge device.
Home owners can get smaller versions (size of a household blender) of Water Purifiers that incorporate a UV lamp in addition to several filters.
Given that ozone is the most powerful oxidizer, it can be used in water for:
For example, the competition pools at the Beijing Olympics were sterilized with Ozone.
Did you happen to notice the amazing clarity and freshness of the water's appearance?
A great question! Ozone created by UV light is typically used for low concentration, low output applications. (personal and home water purification devices, residential pools and spas.)
Electrical discharge ozone creation is typically used for high concentration, high output applications including commercial pools and industrial applications.
Safer than Chlorine: Apart from the fact, Ozone is more powerful and acts quicker,there are no by-products whereas chlorine creates trihalomethanes, dioxins or other carcinogens. (Regulated in drinking water by the U.S. EPA)
There are drawbacks to the Ozone technology.
These become pronounced when ozone in high concentrations, as per large commercial/industrial applications, is required.
The challenge is not with the ozone or its capabilities...
Highly trained, skilled operators are required.
There are not a great many available.
Additionally: it would be very beneficial to have a cheap source of electricity available to lessen operating costs.
Ozone has been more widely used in Europe for drinking water purification.
Since 2001, this effective antibacterial agent has been approved by the FDA and USDA for direct contact with all food.
In the USA, ozone is used to decontaminate cooling towers, purify bottled water.
Who uses it?
Los Angeles, Dallas and LasVegas are three cities that immediately come to mind.
Can be produced on demand – no storage and no transport required.
When the ozone generator is on/off, there are no dangerous substances lingering.
Ozone is versatile in that it can be injected or dissolved in water to provide rinsing and washing of food products (e.g. meat, poultry, seafood, fruits, vegetables)
For more information on ozone equipment and systems that solve and enhance our food safety and the quality of the world food supply.
As ozone does not remain in water after treatment, some Municipal systems introduce chlorine to prevent bacterial growth in the pipes.
Many people have a 'point of use' water filter attached to remove the chlorine.
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