Why use Ozone?
The reasons are varied and many. First, it is important to understand what ozone is!
Ozone is a gas made up of three oxygen atoms. It can be created naturally (by a lightning strike) or synthetically with an electrical or coronal arch from an ozone generator. Our generators at A2Z Ozone all feature CD, Corona Discharge Technology. Ozone is the result of high electric voltage being passed through oxygen (O2) molecules. When this occurs, it breaks the molecular bond of the O2 into single oxygen atoms. These atoms then bond to remaining oxygen molecules (O2), creating ozone (O3). It’s the third oxygen atom in ozone’s molecular makeup that makes it such a powerful cleaning agent.
With oxidizing power 3,000 times more effective than bleach, ozone is the second most powerful oxidant in existence (deadly fluorine gas is first). When ozone gas is introduced to an environment with bacteria, mold or any other organic material, it readily donates one of the oxygen atoms in its structure to oxidize or destroy that material. Ozone can also oxidize some inorganic materials like calcium and arsenic and a number of trace metals, such as iron. Once the third oxygen atom is used to oxidize an organic or inorganic contaminant, there is only an oxygen (O2) molecule left. This is one reason why ozone is preferred as an oxidant to various chemicals, because it does not leave any type of residual chemical. As a result, ozone gas is used in mold remediation, air sanitizing, equipment sterilization, water purification and commercial laundering. Ozone attacks soils and greases the same way it attacks bacteria and mold. This means that as soon as ozonated water comes in contact with linen and fabrics, it begins breaking down these contaminants so they can easily be removed from the fabric by detergents.
Ozone concentration in water is usually measured one of two ways: with an ORP (Oxidation-Reduction Potential) meter or a direct-read measurement in ppm (parts per million). ORP utilizes a scale of measuring the free available electrons (which would produce a negative number) or a deficit of electrons (producing a positive number). This translates to a reading of oxidants in the water and may not be specific to ozone gas alone (i.e., chlorine, iodine, bromine, etc.). The main disadvantage to using ORP is the customer has no way to tell if the reading truly reflects the ozone levels or if it’s a combination of oxidants.
Factors affecting ozone’s half-life include the temperature of the water into which the ozone is introduced and the concentration of contaminants within the water. If the water temperature is 90 F or greater, it becomes more difficult to dissolve ozone. Water molecules become more widely spaced (less dense) as temperature increases and the heat energy in turn stretches the ozone atomic-bonding.