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What Is Ozone?
Ozone is a gas, which is formed naturally by Ultraviolet rays from the sun hitting the earth as well as during a thunderstorm when lightning strikes. When this occurs the Oxygen (O2) molecule is split into two (2) individual atoms which then attach themselves to other Oxygen (O2) molecules, thus forming an Ozone (O3) molecule.
The fresh sweet smell in the air after a storm is usually the smell of ozone. Ozone can be produced artificially when a high voltage electric discharge passes through the air, as is found inside our machines.
What Does Ozone Do?
Ozone is a very strong oxidant. This means that when it comes into contact with micro-organisms such as bacteria and fungi, or other odour making particles, it oxidises them, and by doing so sterilises, disinfects and removes odour in the environment it is exposed to.
This process is described as non-selective, which means that bacteria cannot develop an immunity or resistance to ozone.
Why Is That Important?
Because ozone is such an effective oxidant, it neutralises all organic and inorganic material. This means that it kills viruses, bacteria, mould, mildew, fungus and germs. It can be used to kill impurities and odours in the air and in water. In other words, ozone gas can clean the air and water as effectively, and often more effective than any chemicals.
Why Not Just Use Chemicals?
When we use chemical sprays to clear the air of bacteria or put chemicals in the water to kill the germs, the chemicals leave a residue behind which is unhealthy for humans. When ozone is used to do the same thing, it leaves behind NO chemical residues. It is also far more effective for killing odours than chemicals because it actually kills the bacteria responsible for the smell, rather than just masking the smell with another. Ozone works 3000 times faster and is 2.5 times stronger than chlorine.
Where Can Ozone Be Used?
Ozone can be used anywhere where germs and bad smells are unwanted, which is of course everywhere. It is used for sanitising, deodorising and making areas hygienic. It can be used domestically, in the home or office, commercially in hotels, restaurants and hospitals and industrially for water purification and sterilisation purposes in factories and agricultural warehouses.
Is Ozone Dangerous?
At high levels, ozone can be uncomfortable for humans. However, ozone generators produce ozone at levels to kill micro-organisms, levels that are too low to be dangerous to humans. All our units conform to Guidance Note EH/38/96 of the UK Health and Safety Executive.
Ozone or trivalent oxygen is perhaps the most misunderstood element in the air we breathe. However, Ozone is definitely the greatest natural purification element we have available to deal with man-made pollutants.
The truth lies in the understanding of the nature of ozone itself, the mechanisms of ozone formation, the nature of the pollution problem that requires a solution and finally any adverse health effects involved with ozone as compared with other health risks encountered in our modern indoor environments.
In unpolluted areas ozone is created by the action of nitrogen oxides and ultraviolet light from the sun with the natural agricultural and animal husbandry sources of methane and the hydrocarbon compounds of isoprene and terpene emitted from trees. In fact, anywhere in nature that hydrocarbons exist with strong sunlight and moisture, ozone will occur in some quantities. Areas that are considered the most healthy vacation spots in the country have some of the highest levels of naturally occurring ozone.
Ozone is also created electrically in nature during active thunderstorms. The electrical discharge creates that positive sweet smell that we understand as clean fresh air and that we can recall as the fresh smell of laundry hung outside in the sun to dry. Who can deny the positive experience associated with sleeping on sheets exposed to and purified by sunlight?
In urban areas ozone is created in two other important ways. First there is the direct breakdown of chemicals that are spewed into the environment in industrial processes. Formaldehyde, xylene and olefin also combine with nitrogen oxides and ultraviolet light to create ozone while at the same time reducing the feed stock of these harmful industrial chemicals. The second is related to the photochemical production of Ozone from automobile emissions and mass burners.
It can be seen that in the last case ozone is being created by the breakdown of the hydrocarbons but that it is also aiding in the breakdown of these chemicals. It is, therefore, natural that the highest concentrations of ozone will be found in the areas with the highest concentration of un-oxidized or unburned hydrocarbons.
Benefits of using Ozone