Ozone is one of the most basic elements of nature that is also known to be an oxidizing force. With the creation of ozone generators, this natural element can be used as a natural purifier to benefit our everyday lives. You can now use ozone to perform simple tasks such as cleaning water and vegetables, getting rid of foul odor, and killing pathogens. With all the development in the ozone phenomenon, you might just stop and wonder how everything started. Let’s take a look at the history of ozone.
The chemical known as ozone gas was officially discovered in 1840 by Christian Schonebein, a German professor of physics and chemistry at the University of Basel. While conducting experiments, Schonebein noticed a unique smell that was emitted from his electrifier. He later called this gas "ozone," which is derived from “ozein,” the Greek word for scent. Following Schonbein’s discovery, scientists began to conduct studies on the disinfecting abilities of ozone.
The first ozone generator was built by German scientist and inventor Ernst Werner von Siemens. Although the first generator was relatively simple and inefficient, von Siemen’s introduction of ozone purification prompted a wave of pilot projects that researched the disinfecting mechanisms of ozone. Researchers in Europe continued studying ozone’s properties, and by the early 1900s, the first large-scale application of Ozone took place in France. In 1906, the French city of Nice started using ozone to purify drinking water for the entire city.
While many countries began to use Ozone to clean their water supplies throughout the 20th century, the discovery of chlorine halted the increase in ozone usage throughout the world. Although chlorine appeared to be a suitable alternative to ozone, the discovery of potential side effects (the production of harmful byproducts called trihalomethanes) prompted people to shift to ozone disinfection. Additionally, it was discovered that ozone oxidized micropollutants in surface waters faster than chlorine.
With tens of thousands of illnesses caused by indoor pollution each year, it is necessary for us to have clean air and water in our lives. Ozone has gained tremendous popularity as a natural purifier because it has the unique flexibility to solve a wide array of everyday problems. Whether it is home air treatment or large-scale usage, ozone is truly the most effective way to purify air and water.