Ozone is a naturally occurring gas created from oxygen atoms. The oxygen molecule is made up of 2 oxygen atoms. These oxygen molecules are broken into atoms by the corona discharge during lightning storms or by UV light from the Sun. Single oxygen atoms cannot exist alone without regrouping back into di-atomic oxygen molecules. During this recombination stage some atoms will regroup into loosely bonded tri-atomic oxygen. This new molecule is called Ozone, as seen to the right (d = 1.28 A, Theta = 116.5o). Due to the loose bond in this oxygen molecule – ozone is a very strong oxidant and an ideal chemical-free purification and a disinfecting agent.
Ozone is frequently misdiagnosed and equated to low-altitude pollution. Nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, Ozone breaks down pollutants and should be welcomed when found in the air.
The most effective way to produce Ozone commercially is through the use of pulse injected corona discharge.
Disinfection by tri-atomic oxygen (Ozone) occurs through the rupture of the cell wall. This is a more efficient method than Chlorine, which depends upon diffusion into the cell protoplasm and inactivation of the enzymes. An ozone level of 0.4 ppm for 4 minutes has been shown to kill any bacteria, virus, mold and fungus. 1 parts per million is equivalent to: 8.345 pounds per million gallons (US).
When the effectiveness of Ozone as a disinfectant was measured, there was little or no disinfection up to a certain dosage. At higher levels the sanitizing effect increased greatly. For complete disinfection a surplus or residual Ozone has to be maintained in the solution to assure that every living microorganism has been contacted.