What is ozone? And how do we use it?

Lightning thunder storm

Ozone, or O3, as it is commonly called, is primarily formed and concentrated within the stratospheric layer of our atmosphere. You probably know it as the “Ozone Layer”. The creation of ozone is caused by the absorption of short wavelength ultraviolet radiation by oxygen molecules in the stratosphere. As the oxygen molecules (O2) are exposed to these energy fields, they dissociate and split, forming atoms (O1). These wandering oxygen atoms then recombine with other O2 molecules in the air stream, forming ozone (O3).

How is it used?

Ozone is the most powerful oxidizer commercially available that can be safely used in water treatment. Ozone is used in many applications including:

  • Drinking water Ozone molecule picture
  • Swimming pool water
  • Waste water
  • Food and beverage processing water
  • Commercial laundry
  • Odor Control and Air Purification

For more examples go to our Applications page

Ozone is also highly effective in performing the following water treatment functions:

  • Disinfection – Bacterial disinfection, and the inactivation of viruses and cysts.
  • Oxidation of Inorganics – Precipitates iron, manganese, sulfides, nitrites and organically bound heavy metals.
  • Oxidation of Organics – Including organics causing color, taste and odor problems, some detergents and pesticides, phenols, VOCs, turbidity control and micro flocculation of soluble organics.

The life span of ozone is pretty short lived, typically around 30 minutes or so in water, which in turn, requires that ozone be generated on site and used promptly after creation in order to be effective. Ozone generators are manufactured in various sizes, each of which is dependent on the quality and quantity of the water to be treated. The smaller the application, the smaller the ozone generator. The larger the application, the larger the generator needed.
For a detailed list of our ozone generators and their features check out our Products page

– Authored by Juli Watt, Marketing Communications, ClearWater Tech, LLC

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How Does Ozone Get Into The Water?

Ozone gas must transfer from its natural gas state into a dissolved liquid state in order to oxidize dissolved contaminants in the water. This is probably the most important step in a successful ozone system.

There are two widely used methods to get the ozone gas entrained into the water; by diffusion or venturi methods.

Most ozone gas produced ultimately off gases to the atmosphere. In order to minimize off gassing, you must keep the gas under pressure for as long as possible for mass transfer to take place.

The venturi method is by far the best method for dissolving ozone. Water traveling through a venturi will create a pressure differential. By having a suction port at that point in pressure drop allows ozone gas to be pulled into the stream, entraining that gas into solution.

The diffusion method is far simpler, yet not as efficient in transferring gas into solution. The diffusion method entails pushing ozone gas into a body of water by the use of some air compressor. By pushing air through an ozone chamber, the gas is created and continues down through tubing into the bottom of some vessel.

To increase transfer of ozone into solution, a diffuser stone is used at the end of the ozone resistant Teflon® tubing to create maximum surface area of ozone bubbles. If you send the gas directly out of the tubing without a diffuser stone, you would have larger bubbles and less contact between water and ozone. This would create more off gassing and obviously less transfer of gas into solution.

– Authored by Tim Chew, Inside Sales, ClearWater Tech, LLC

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