FAQs of Ozone

What is Ozone?

Ozone is a molecule that consists of three oxygen atoms (O3), with a delta negative and delta positive electric charge. The ozone molecule is very unstable and has a short half-life. Therefore, it will decay after some time into its original form oxygen. In essence ozone is nothing more than oxygen (O2), with an extra oxygen atom, formed by an electric high charge an extra oxygen atom. In nature ozone is produced by some chemical reactions. The most familiar example is of course the ozone layer, where ozone is produced from the sun's ultra-violet (UV) rays. But ozone is also produced at thunderstorms and waterfalls. The extreme high voltages attended with thunderstorms produce ozone from oxygen. The special "fresh, clean, spring rain" smell is a result from nature-produced ozone. Ozone derives from the Greek word ozein, which means to smell.

Ozone is only produced under extreme circumstances. This can also be created by ozone generators. Ozone generators produce ozone with extreme high voltages (Corona Discharge Technology) or with UV-light.

How does Ozone work?

Ozone operates according the principle of oxidation. When the static loaded ozone molecule (O3) contacts with something "oxidation able", the charge of the ozone molecule will directly flow over. This is because ozone is very instable and likes to turn back in its original form (O2). Ozone can oxidize with all kinds of materials, but also odor and microorganisms like viruses, moulds and bacteria's. The extra oxygen atom releases from the ozone molecule and binds with the other material. Eventually remains only the pure and stable oxygen molecule. Ozone is one of the strongest oxidation agents technical available for use to oxidize solutes. The extra-added oxygen atom will bind (=oxidation) in a split second to every component that comes into contact with ozone.

Ozone can be used for a broad of area of purification. For the biggest part ozone is applied in the municipal wastewater and potable water treatment plants (for disinfection). However ozone is used more and more in the industrial branch. In the food industry for example ozone is used for disinfection and in the paper and textile industry it is used for the oxidation of wastewater. The main benefit of ozone is its clean character, because it only oxidizes materials, with forming almost no byproducts. Because ozone has a strong recognizable odor, very low concentrations will soon be perceived. This makes it generally safe to work with ozone.

What is the half life of Ozone?

For the purification of water and air, it’s needed to produce ozone onsite. Because of its short half-life, ozone will decay soon when produced. The half-life of ozone in water is about 30 minutes, which means that every half hour the ozone concentration will be reduced to half its initial concentration. For example, when you have 8 g/l, the concentration reduces every 30 minutes as follows: 8; 4; 2; 1; etc. In practice the half-life is shorter because a lot of factors can influence the half-life. Factors are temperature, pH, concentration and concentration and sort solutes. Because ozone reacts with all kinds of components, the concentration ozone will reduce quickly. When most of the components are oxidized, the residual ozone will remain, and the concentration ozone will reduce less fast.

Is Ozone harmful and what are the effects?

At higher concentrations ozone is harmful for human health after inhalation. Several agencies, such as the occupational safety and health agency (OSHA) have proposed MAC-values for ozone. The MAC-value is the Maximum Acceptable Concentration a human is allowed to be exposed to for a certain time and certain agent. For ozone the MAC-values is 0.06 PPM for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week (PPM = Parts Per Million). The concentrations mentioned above are much higher than the odor threshold at which ozone can be smelled, so critical concentrations will be noticed quickly. When people are exposed to high ozone concentrations the symptoms can vary from dryness in the mouth and throat, coughing, headache and chest restriction. Nearby the lethal limits, more acute problems will follow. When larger Ozone Generators are applied ozone destructors can be used for destruction of residual ozone.

How Can you tell the level Of Ozone?

There are a lot of measuring instruments available to measure ozone in water and air. These measuring instruments rest on different principles and can measure the concentrations from PPM (PPM = Parts Per Million) to PPB (= Parts Per Billion). The instruments can be used for monitoring and controlling the ozone generator. However they are expensive and suitable for large Ozone Generators.

What are some uses of ozone?

Some common uses are: pool and spa water purification, drinking water purification, waste water purification, and air freshening.

How long has ozone been used to purify water?

Since the late 1800's.

How long has ozone been used to purify pool and spa water and remove odors from the air?

Since the mid 1900's.

How does the ozone used for water purification affect the air we breathe?

The amount of ozone produced by an ozone generator is insignificant to the normal atmosphere we live in. When dissolved in water, ozone is extremely safe. Excess ozone quickly converts back to oxygen. Note: Do not breathe concentrated ozone gas.

Is ozone the same as "SMOG"?

No! "Smog" is air pollution created by combustion polluters. While smog contains small amounts of ozone, it is largely composed of harmful chemicals such as carbon monoxide. In fact, smog and other pollutants contribute to the damage of the ozone layer above the earth.

If I use ozone in my pool or spa, will I help replenish the ozone layer?

No. Because ozone reacts so quickly with contaminants in water and air, it converts back to oxygen within minutes or even seconds. Any ozone molecules that break free from the pool or spa water will convert to oxygen long before they reach the atmosphere.

Will ozone hurt me?

No! In the quantities necessary to be effective, ozone is very gentle to humans and equipment in the water. However, you should never breathe concentrated ozone gas.

Does ozone have an odor?

Yes. Depending on the concentration, the odor ranges from slightly sweet to moderately antiseptic.

Will ozone kill bacteria?

Yes. It is one of the most effective, complete bactericides of all earth's measurable elements. It will kill E. coli, giardia and other lesser bacteria strains

Will ozone kill viruses?

Yes. Ozone kills virtually all known forms of viruses in water and air, including the Ebola virus.

How is ozone different from chlorine?

In the quantities needed for water purification, it has no noticeable odor, taste or color. It is not irritating to humans or equipment. Ozone purifies water and air very quickly and efficiently, 3,000 times faster than chlorine. Ozone leaves no by-products except pure oxygen. In contrast, chlorine leaves a chemical by-product called hypochloric acid and additional salts in water applications.

Will Ozone reduce scum lines and foaming in spas?

Yes. With proper filtration it can completely eliminate them.

How is ozone produced?

Ozone can be produced by ultraviolet (UV) light or by corona discharge (CD). Eltech ozone is corona discharge tehnology.

How does ultraviolet light ozone generation work?

Ozone can be produced artificially according the same principle as it occurs in nature, which means by UV light (ozone layer) or via Corona Discharge (high voltages, thunderstorm), Eltech Ozone generator are by Corona Discharge Technology. In both methods the connection between the oxygen molecules is broken up. Consequently oxygen radicals are produced, which connect with the oxygen molecule to O3 (ozone). For the production of ozone, corona discharge is used more because of the greater advantages of this method. Advantages are the lower costs for ozone production (more cost-efficient) and the greater durability of the system. For the feed inlet ambient air can be used as well as pure oxygen. For pure oxygen, oxygen generators can be used to concentrate oxygen out of air. When pure oxygen is used a higher concentration of ozone can be produced.

Can ozone damage my pool or spa equipment?

No. In fact, it is very gentle to spas, pools, and equipment. Applied properly, ozone is gentler than any other water purifier in existence. It can however, be an irritant to lesser grades of rubber, such as Buna rubber, sometimes used in cheap pump seals or o-rings.

Can the ozone in my pool irritate skin or eyes like chlorine in pools?

No! Ozone is very gentle to skin and eyes.

How long will ozone last in my pool or spa water?

Scientific tests show that Ozone has a half-life of about 22 minutes in water. In residential swimming pool applications, ozone reverts back to oxygen in minutes.

Will water temperature affect ozone?

Wide variations in pool water temperature will affect how well ozone works, with higher temperatures reducing effectiveness. An ozone generator should be designed and sized for maximum water temperatures and bather load.

Will ozone affect my pH?

Ozone is pH neutral and will not affect the pool pH level

Do I still have to filter the water as often?

Yes. Because impurities are constantly being introduced into the water and the ozone is constantly destroying them, the microscopic remains will need to be filtered out of the water.

Do I still need to add chlorine to the pool?

Maybe. Ozone is powerful, but because it’s a gas, it’s difficult to put it in touch with every molecule of pool water. A chlorine residual of 0.5ppm, and occasional shocking is recommended to supplement most ozone systems. Larger pool ozonators with high output can reduce the chlorine need even further, perhaps operating with only a monthly shocking, especially when combined with a mineral purifier, algaecides, clarifiers or enzymes.

What kind of maintenance is needed for an ozonator?

After 5 years or so, you may need to replace hoses and injector fittings or check valves. Many ozonators have rebuild kits, in addition to individual parts available. Expect some expense every 2-3 seasons.

Why would I install a pool ozonator?

If you want to reduce your chlorine demand and chlorine usage, reduce shocking and backwashing, and improve overall clarity and water sanitation – you could look at ozone. In the long run, an ozonator would save you money with pool water will be more sanitary, with maybe less or no chlorine required.

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