what is ozone?

How is Ozone Produced?

Ozone, a powerful oxidant found both in the Earth’s upper atmosphere and used in various industrial applications, plays a crucial role in our environment and industries. Unlike other gases, ozone cannot be stored or transported due to its rapid decay back into oxygen, necessitating on-site production. Here’s an exploration of the fascinating methods used to generate ozone, from natural atmospheric processes to cutting-edge industrial technologies.

The Natural Phenomenon

In the stratosphere, ozone formation is a natural spectacle, initiated by the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light. This light splits oxygen molecules (O2) into individual oxygen atoms. These atoms then collide with unsplit oxygen molecules to form ozone (O3), creating a protective layer that shields the Earth from harmful UV radiation.

Industrial Ozone Generation: A Technological Marvel

For industrial purposes, ozone must be generated using specialized techniques. The most common methods include cold plasma (dielectric barrier discharge), corona discharge, and UV light. Each method has its unique mechanism and applications, tailored to produce ozone efficiently for various industrial needs.

Cold Plasma (Dielectric Barrier Discharge)

Cold plasma, a state of gas partially ionized at room temperature or lower, is created when an electric current is passed between two electrodes separated by an insulating material. This process splits oxygen molecules into atoms, which then recombine to form ozone. Modern advancements have significantly increased the efficiency of this method, allowing for ozone concentrations of up to 20% or more from on-site-produced oxygen. This method is particularly favoured for its high purity and concentration of ozone output.

Corona Discharge Method

Widely used in industrial settings, the corona discharge method generates ozone by introducing air or pure oxygen into a corona discharge tube, where a strong electrical field creates plasma. This plasma disassociates oxygen molecules into atoms, facilitating the formation of ozone. While highly effective, this method also produces nitrogen oxides as byproducts, which can lead to the formation of corrosive nitric acid if water is present, necessitating careful management of the process.

how is ozone produced

UV Light Method

Mimicking the natural process in the atmosphere, the UV light method employs a specific wavelength of UV light to split oxygen molecules, which then form ozone. This method is particularly suitable for applications requiring lower concentrations of ozone, such as in certain water treatment processes.

Special Considerations in Ozone Generation

The design and materials used in ozone generators are critical due to ozone’s highly reactive nature. Only a select few materials, such as stainless steel, aluminium, glass, and specific fluoropolymers, can withstand the corrosive effects of ozone. Cooling systems are often employed to optimize ozone synthesis by maintaining a low gas temperature, enhancing the efficiency of the generation process.

The Future of Ozone Generation

As technology advances, the efficiency and applications of ozone generation continue to expand. Innovations in electrode design, cooling systems, and material science are paving the way for more efficient, environmentally friendly, and cost-effective ozone generation methods. These advancements hold the promise of expanding the use of ozone in water treatment, air purification, and beyond, marking a significant step forward in our ability to harness the power of this remarkable molecule.

Request Information

Contact us to get information about our solutions, application details and price information.