Ozone in Industry
The largest use of ozone is in the preparation of pharmaceuticals, synthetic lubricants, and many other commercially useful organic compounds, where it is used to sever carbon-carbon bonds. It can also be used for bleaching substances and for killing micro-organisms in air and water sources. Many municipal drinking water systems kill bacteria with ozone instead of the more common chlorine. Ozone has a very high oxidation potential. Ozone does not form organochlorine compounds, nor does it remain in the water after treatment. Where electrical power is abundant, ozone is a cost-effective method of treating water, since it is produced on demand and does not require transportation and storage of hazardous chemicals. Once it has decayed, it leaves no taste or odor in drinking water. Low levels of ozone are of disinfectant use in residential homes, having substantial effect on airborne pathogens. Industrially, ozone has been used to:
- Disinfect laundry in hospitals, food factories, care homes etc;
- Disinfect water in place of chlorine;
- Aqueous ozone has been effectively used to disinfect drinking water, cooling towers and for wastewater treatment
- Sanitise wine barrels before filling;
- Deordorise the air in smokers rooms in the hotel industry;
- Deodorize air and objects, such as after a fire. This process is extensively used in fabric restoration;
- Kill bacteria on food or on contact surfaces;
- Sanitize swimming pools and spas;
- Kill insects in stored grain;
- Scrub yeast and mold spores from the air in food processing plants;
- Wash fresh fruits and vegetables to kill yeast, mold and bacteria;
- Chemically attack contaminants in water (iron, arsenic, hydrogen sulfide, nitrites, and complex organics lumped together as “colour”);
- Provide an aid to flocculation (agglomeration of molecules, which aids in filtration, where the iron and arsenic are removed);
- Manufacture chemical compounds via chemical synthesis;
- Clean and bleach fabrics (the former use is utilized in fabric restoration; the latter use is patented);
- Assist in processing plastics to allow adhesion of inks;
- Age rubber samples to determine the useful life of a batch of rubber;
- Eradicate water borne parasites such as Giardia lamblia and Cryptosporidium in surface water treatment plants.
For more than a century, ozone has been used in Europe for purifying drinking water and is currently used in the United States for purifying bottled water and decontaminating cooling towers. The city of Los Angeles currently uses ozone to purify its water supply. Ozone is a reagent in many organic reactions in the laboratory and in industry. Ozonolysis is the cleavage of an alkene to carbonyl compounds. Many hospitals in the U.S. and around the world use large ozone generators to decontaminate operating rooms between surgeries. The rooms are cleaned and then sealed airtight before being filled with ozone which effectively kills or neutralizes all remaining bacteria. Ozone is used as an alternative to chlorine or chlorine dioxide in the bleaching of wood pulp. It is often used in conjunction with oxygen and hydrogen peroxide to eliminate the need for chlorine-containing compounds in the manufacture of high-quality, white paper. Ozone can be used to detoxify cyanide wastes (for example from gold and silver mining) by oxidizing cyanide to cyanate and eventually to carbon dioxide. Natural Ozone Ltd has also manufactured customised high output ozone generators for the use of disinfecting the inside of wine barrels ready to be filled.
Devices generating high levels of ozone, some of which use ionization, are used to sanitize and deodorize uninhabited buildings, rooms, ductwork, woodsheds, boats and other vehicles. Air purifiers emit low levels of ozone. This kind of air purifier imitates nature’s way of purifying the air without filters and to sanitize both it and household surfaces. Ozonated water is used to launder clothes and to sanitise food, drinking water, and surfaces in the home. Studies at California Polytechnic University demonstrated that 0.3 ppm levels of ozone dissolved in filtered tap water can produce a reduction of more than 99.99% in such food-borne microorganisms as salmonella, E. coli 0157:H7, and Campylobacter. Ozone can be used to remove pesticide residues from fruits and vegetables. Ozone is used in home swimming pools and spa pools to kill bacteria in the water and to reduce the amount of chlorine or bromine required by reactivating them to their free state. Natural Ozone ozone generators produce ozone by method of corona discharge and is then injected into the water. Ozone is also widely used in treatment of water in aquariums and fish ponds. Its use can minimize bacterial growth, control parasites, and eliminate transmission of some diseases. There are many dissolved organics that can discolor your water, ozone will oxidize these and produce water that is crystal clear.