Technical Corner Ozone Can Be Used for Good
What is ozone? Ozone occurs naturally and is created from oxygen atoms. An oxygen molecule is made up of two oxygen atoms (O2).
Oxygen molecules are broken into oxygen atoms naturally through electrical discharge during a lightning storm or from the UV rays of sunlight. Oxygen atoms cannot exist alone and will regroup into diatomic oxygen (O2). During this regrouping stage, some atoms will regroup into loosely bonded tri-atomic oxygen ozone (O3).
Ozone is very unstable and has a short half life before it loses its one oxygen atom and reverts back to oxygen (O2). This “instability” makes ozone very reactive. As a matter of fact, it is the most powerful and rapid-acting oxidizer that humans can produce. Human-made ozone is produced by designed engineered electrical discharge (corona discharge) and UV equipment and can be utilized for various environmental processes.
Ozone is used to oxidize odorous vapors generated from VOCs or caused by bacteria. Because of its powerful oxidizing power, it is widely used for disinfecting consumable water where it will destroy any bacteria or viruses found in water. In many cities around the world, domestic water is ozone treated rather than chlorinated. Large swimming pools and domestic pools are also ozone-treated. Ozone used in many municipal wastewater plants as well as industrial wastewater facilities, especially where they discharge the effluents in water bodies such as rivers, lakes, or other sources of drinking water.
In addition, it is known that ozone has the ability to destroy and kill any bacteria and most known viruses.
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