What is Ozone ?
Ozone is something I am sure many of us have heard of but do not really know what it is.
Ozone is a form of”active oxygen”, nature’s very own special molecule and interestingly enough the composition of one ozone molecule contains three oxygen atoms.
Ozone is created automatically in nature by the process of mixing together, oxygen from the air with ultraviolet rays from the sun or by the very tremendous power generated by an electrical discharge during a lightning storm.
Ozone is by its very nature a natural purifier and no harmful chemical by-products are created during natural purification. One of the beneficial effects of Ozone is the clean, fresh smell or scent which I will call scentsation which most people sense or smell after a rainstorm often thought as negative Ions.
The same effect is felt near fast flowing streams in mountain areas and that old saying springs to mind as “fresh as a mountain stream”. Ozone is the most powerful oxidizer that can be safely used in a swimming pool or Hot Tub Jacuzzi Style spa. Ozone is a great alternative water purifier to traditional pool/spa chemicals such as chlorine and bromine.
What Does Ozone Do?
Ozone is an unstable compound generated by the exposure of oxygen molecules to a high energy electrical discharge. The weak bond holding ozone’s third oxygen atom is what causes the molecule to be unstable and thus, very effective. An oxidation reaction occurs upon any collision between a molecule of ozone and a molecule of an oxidizable substance (i.e. bacteria, fungi (mould & yeast), viruses, forms of iron & manganese). The weak bond splits off leaving oxygen as a by-product. During an oxidation reaction, organic molecules are changed and dissolved metals are made no longer soluble. Interesting as it is that these processes were used back in the days of wagon trains where silver and copper coins were tossed into the drinking water barrels to help purify the water. Even Lord Nelsons British ships of the line also put coins into water barrels to keep drinking water fresh.
Most pool cleaning publications recommend copper ions levels being around .20 ppm and .30 ppm (parts per million). Very briefly here is a quick description of what an Ion is. An ion is an atom or group of atoms that contains an electrical charge. There is a nucleus with positively charged particles called protons in it and negatively charged electrons orbiting around the nucleus. Atoms usually contain an equal number of protons and electrons. Ions get electrical charges by losing or gaining electrons. When an ion gains an extra electron, it becomes negative and is called an ANION and when it loses an extra electron it becomes a positive CATION. Time to look up the chemical composition of copper and how copper is ionized in water. Copper’s chemical symbol is Cu and it has an atomic mass of 64, contains 29 protons and 35 neutrons The melting point of Cu is 1083 degrees Celsius. Copper or Cu is one of the transition metals which means that electrons from it’s outer electron layer or shell participate in chemical reactions. Where is Ozone Used? Even NASA uses the Copper/Silver Ionization treatment as a method to purify drinking water aboard spacecraft. Ozone is widely used in a variety of industries worldwide. This ionization process is used in many swimming pools as an alternative to using chlorine and other harsh chemicals. Ozone has been used in municipal water systems, wastewater plants and commercial & residential pools and spas for years. Ozone is used in many leisure complexes including water parks, aquariums and zoos. Ozone can safely be used as on food equipment surfaces during the manufacture of food products.
Ozone can readily help remove offensive odours from fires and other smells. Ozone is used as the final purification step in most bottled water plants.
Of Course Ozone technology is also used by the Major Hot Tub manufacturers. If you look for a Hot Tub make sure it has Ozone as standard. This will greatly reduce the requirement to chemicals in your water treatment processes.