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bullet Can ozone take care of my iron problems?
bullet What are the advantages of ozone over chemicals like chlorine?
bullet How do you get ozone into the water?
bullet Why must I have my water analyzed before my ozone requirements can be determined?
bullet What does the term "ozone demand" mean?
bullet Is ozone safe?
bullet Isn't ozone a major factor in the smog pollution in our major cities?
bullet How is ozone made?
bullet What is meant by "cold spark plasma"?
bullet What are the benefits received from using an air ozonator in my home?
bullet Is the use of ozone in food processing F.D.A. approved?
bullet Why would I use ozonated water to wash my food and counter tops?
bullet Why might I need to add an air dryer to my ozone system?
bullet Why might I need to add an oxygen concentrator to my ozone system?
bullet Why is a contact or holding tank needed?
bullet Why can't I hook up any ozone generator to my aquarium?
bullet Why do I still need a filter on my water supply if I'm using ozone?
bullet Is there any industry standard for quantifying how much ozone a generator makes?
bullet Why does bottled oxygen make more ozone on the same ozone generator?
bullet Why doesn't Ozone Engineering cold spark generators need to have the cells replaced periodically like everyone else's do?


Can ozone take care of my iron problems?

   Yes. One of the difficulties in removing iron with conventional water treatment technologies arises when iron is present in its soluble, ferrous form. Standard filters are not capable of removing the soluble iron, unless treatment prior to filtration is used to convert the iron to an insoluble state. Ozone acts very quickly on soluble forms of iron. The reaction changes the iron to its ferric state, which is unable to remain dissolved in the water and is therefore easily filtered. Due to the rapid conversion, ozone is an extremely economical treatment technology.


What are the advantages of ozone over chemicals like chlorine?

   The answer depends greatly on the intended usage; however, generally speaking, ozone has the following advantages over chlorine: *Is an effective disinfectant over a much wider spectrum of microorganisms than chlorine. Requires drastically lower contact times than chlorine, thereby allowing decreased contact vessel sizes, higher flow rates and increased throughput. *Does not remain in the water after it has satisfied the oxidation demand; chlorine remains in the water, requiring possible treatment to remove excess. *Does not create the byproducts (i.e., chloramines, trihalomethanes) that chlorine creates. Increasing regulations for both potable water and discharge of wastewater will soon allow lower levels of these byproducts, requiring addition of more efficient treatment technologies to remove them. *Since ozone is generated on-site and on-demand, there is no requirement to transport, store and train workers in safe handling as there is with chlorine. There is also no risk of an accidental ozone spill. *Ozone generation equipment is purchased once. Chlorine treatment mandates ongoing chlorine purchase.


How do you get ozone into the water?

   Ozone is a gas that is only partially soluble. This means that getting the ozone to dissolve in the water, rather than be present in large bubbles, is difficult. Two methods of ozone injection dominate in the industry, although there are many others. They are injected through a differential pressure eductor (commonly called a venturi injector), or by fine bubble diffusion. In venturi injection, water enters the venturi injector and is immediately constricted as it enters the injection chamber. This causes the water to speed up dramatically, forming a high velocity "jet stream". The increase in velocity results in a low pressure condition in the injection chamber, which draws in the ozone gas. As the fast moving stream moves toward the injector outlet, it expands and slows down again. This rapid action of compression, injection of gas and recompression aggressively mixes the water and dissolves the ozone. Fine bubble diffuser methods involve a relatively tall (10-15 feet) column of water, with a porous diffuser located at the bottom. As ozone is forced through the diffuser, bubbles are formed, which rise to the top of the column. Ozone is dissolved as the bubbles rise. Greatest efficiencies are achieved by designs allowing the slowest bubble rise, and therefore the maximum amount of time for ozone to water contact.


Why must I have my water analyzed before my ozone requirements can be determined?

   There are many potential contaminants in ground water supplies that can be oxidized by ozone. Each contaminant in a given water supply can "demand" a certain amount of ozone. Unless all contaminants, and their concentrations in the water are known, available ozone can be consumed before the job is done. Conversely, relatively high quality water containing very few contaminants, or containing very low concentrations of contaminants may require only a very small amount of ozone. In these cases, cost can be kept to a minimum by providing just enough ozone, and prevent paying for ozone that is not needed.


What does the term "ozone demand" mean?

   Oxidizable contaminants in water supplies place a demand on the amount of ozone available. For example, in a water supply containing 3 ppm of ozone, and a service flow rate of 10 gallons per minute, the required amount of ozone can be calculated only if the iron's ozone demand is known. Iron's ozone demand is .43 ppm ozone for 1 ppm iron. To calculate the ozone requirement, in the common output measurement of Grams Ozone / Hour, the following formula is used: (Flow (pm)X(Iron ppm)X(Ozone demand ppm)X(.227) = Grams Ozone/Hour EXAMPLE: (10gpm)x(3ppm)x(.43ppm)x(.227) = 2.93 Grams Ozone/Hour The importance of knowing the total ozone demand of a water supply should now be evident. We've calculated the ozone demand for the above example, with iron as the only contaminant placing a demand on the ozone. There is no ozone available to oxidize any other contaminant that may be present.


Is ozone safe?

  To the best of our knowledge, and published in the Water Quality Associations 1997 book, "Ozone for Point-of-Use, Point-of-Entry and Small Water System Water Treatment Applications: A Reference Manual", there has never been reported a permanent disability or death from the use of ozone, despite more than 100 years of use.  The primary area of concern is ozone  in the gaseous state.  The use of ozone gas air purifiers should be applied with  discretion.  OSHA, the FDA and the EPA have established safe operating parameters for ozone in the gaseous state and should be heeded at all times.   The use of ozone air purifiers in deodorization of hotel/motel rooms is a huge market, however, product instructions should include warnings that the ozone equipment should only be used when humans and animals are not present. Water and wastewater applications that result in potential excessive ozone off-gas problems should be considered in the design stage.  Ozotech, Inc. manufactures a full  line of ozone destruct modules (terminator series) that are used to destroy any excess ozone off-gas as a by-product of the treatment process.  In smaller applications, it is perfectly okay to vent the ozone off-gas to atmosphere.


Isn't ozone a major factor in the smog pollution in our major cities?

   Ozone is a purifier and not a pollutant! Ozone is an active form of oxygen and contains no other compounds. Human or animal life cannot exist without oxygen or ozone. Most large cities erroneously report the pollution level in parts per million of "ozone", and these reports are usually announced when the range reaches 3.0-5.0 PPM. Scientists have proven that the highest concentration of ozone possible in polluted air is approximately 1.0 PPM, and rarely exceeds .3 PPM. What is being misinterpreted as ozone are levels of photochemical oxidants such as nitric oxide generated by auto and truck emissions.


How is ozone made?

   Ozone is generated by the exposure of air or another gas containing normal oxygen to a high energy source which in commercial production is a high voltage electrical discharge or ultraviolet radiation. Molecular oxygen is split into atomic oxygen and resulting oxygen atoms combine with oxygen molecules, as illustrated below: 3 O2 < > 2 O3 + heat Typically high voltage electrical discharge, also known as corona discharge, is the technology of choice for most applications as the ozone concentration levels achieved are several times greater than those of ultraviolet radiation. Ozone must be manufactured on site for immediate use because it is unstable and quickly decomposes to normal oxygen.


What is meant by "cold spark plasma"?

   Traditional corona discharge ozone generators use a metal or metal coated electrode. They are then operated at high voltage and low or medium frequency (60-1000 Hz). In addition, these electrodes often require precise alignment and special maintenance. As a consequence, internal temperatures are high, causing ozone decomposition, as well as electrode stress and failure. Ozone Engineering Cold Spark Plasma technology does not have these short comings. Ozone Engineering, Inc. uses an ozone cell that is filled with a special mixture of gases. When electric current is applied to the electrode, the gas becomes a plasma... a gas like substance that conducts electricity. This causes a virtual plasma field and corona to form on the outside of the electrode. This virtual plasma and corona imparts electrons with sufficient energy to dissociate oxygen molecules into ozone molecules. Most importantly, the Cold Spark Plasma technology does not generate substantial amounts of heat thus making it the most economical and reliable ozone generator on the market today.


What are the benefits received from using an air ozonator in my home?

   The answer to this question depends largely on the intended use.  For a homeowner  curious about general benefits, one can expect a marked increase in the overall  quality of indoor air.  Ozone has been proven to oxidize molds, yeast's and fungus.  It  is effective in neutralizing the offensive odor causing compounds in cigarette and  cigar smoke.  It can even oxidize contaminants released by carpets, wallpaper, paints  and varnishes, and aid in reduction of airborne dust.

    More specialized uses and benefits include elimination of household pet odors, and  recovery of smoke damaged carpets, drapes and furnishings.  At least one local real  estate agent (my mother), uses an ozone generator to eliminate odors from homes  on the market.  A clean, fresh smelling home is simply more attractive to a buyer.


Is the use of ozone in food processing F.D.A. approved?

   The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved ozone in direct  contact with food.  Rather, they have ACCEPTED a declaration of Generally Recognized  As Safe (GRAS) status for the application.  It's a bit confusing, but here's the  low-down in plain english. An FDA provision allows for immediate use of a technology,  provided that the technology has been declared GRAS by qualified experts.

   In 1995, a panel of experts in the food industry was assembled by the Electric Power  Research institute (EPRI).  Their assignment was to sift through scores of technical  papers, application reports and case studies dealing with ozone's history in food  processing.  Their findings supported the case for GRAS declaration.  In 1997, they  submitted a report to the FDA, declaring ozone as GRAS technology for food processing  applications.  Much of the basis for this declaration came from decades of safe and  effective application in food processing in Europe. (European food industry has not  been restricted, as has the US food industry).  Additionally, ozone has been used under GRAS status, in the US, for applications in meat storage and in the disinfect ion  of poultry processing waters.
 
   The FDA provision mentioned earlier states that any proven effective  technology, provided it has been used for related applications prior to 1958, requires  no specific FDA approval.  This revision, coupled with the GRAS declaration,  effectively opened the doors for industry to immediately use zone in their food  contact applications.


Why would I use ozonated water to wash my food and counter tops?

   The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently accepted the declaration of  Generally Recognized as Safe status for the use of ozone in food processing applications.  One of the criteria required prior to this acceptance was proof that ozone is effective  in controlling bacteria levels on food and food contact surfaces.

   The benefits to washing your food items and food contact surfaces (counter tops, cutting  boards, knives, dishes, etc.), are the same benefits that researches were required  to prove in order to attain GRAS status.  These benefits include: reduction of  bacteria, including dangerous pathogens like salmonella, listeria, e.coli, and shigella.  The result is food that is safer to consume.

   Further benefits include reduction of bacteria that causes food spoilage.  In other  words, perishable food products (such as fresh fruits and vegetables) can be washed  with ozonated water to reduce the organisms that cause them to spoil.  The result is  food that keeps longer.


Why might I need to add an air dryer to my ozone system?

   Quite simply, dried air allows any ozone generator to make more ozone.

   The key to air drying is in the removal of Hydrogen (H) found in  ambient air.  When atoms of Hydrogen and Nitrogen (which comprises 78% of our air) are  subject to Corona Discharge, by-products such as Nitrous acid (HNO2) and Nitric acid  (HNO3) are formed.  The formation of  these compounds inhibits performance and increases  the frequency of maintenance.

   To understand how performance is affected, we must evaluate how ozone generators work.  Ozone generators create ozone by splitting intact oxygen (O2) molecules into free  oxygen atoms (O).  In the air we breathe, only 21% of the volume is made up of O2.  The remaining volume is comprised mainly of Nitrogen (N), at 78%.  Water in vapor form  also comprises a significant amount of any given air sample.  Water vapor contains  hydrogen (H).

   After being subject to Corona Discharge, some of the Hydrogen and Nitrogen  atoms will attach themselves to intact ozone molecules, forming HNO3, or Nitric acid.  Other's will attach themselves to oxygen molecules, forming HNO2, or Nitrous acid.  The formation of these compounds is one of the reasons that performance potential of  an ozone generator is reduced.  It is simple to understand why.  If ozone molecules  were not being "used" by Hydrogen and Nitrogen in the formation of acids, more would  be available to form ozone.
 
   Likewise, if the percentage of water vapor in a given volume of air was reduced, there  would be more "room" for oxygen.  It is this function, that of increasing the relative  ability to force more oxygen in the same space, that comprises the most significant  benefit to enhanced ozone production.

   Increased service life and reduction in maintenance are gained due to the same principle.  With less HNO2 and HNO3 being formed, corona discharge cell maintenance, or cleaning  the cell, can be reduced without the risk of acid buildup. Since both HNO2 and HNO3  are highly conductive (and corrosive), they are capable of producing a path for  corona (electrical arcs) outside of the Corona Discharge Cell and Manifold.  Reducing  the chance of electrical arcs decreases probability of ozone generator failure.

Why might I need to add an oxygen concentrator to my ozone system?

   Because it may be economical to do so. The key to oxygen concentration in terms of ozone production is in the removal of Nitrogen (N), and water (H2O) found in ambient air. This is of benefit because it increases the ozone production capacity of any ozone generator. To understand how performance is affected, we must recall that ozone is created by passing oxygen molecules through an electrical arc (corona). Imagine that in addition to oxygen molecules, your feed gas also contains water vapor (H20) and Nitrogen atoms. Both take up space.  It is easy to see that in a given volume of space, there is " more room" for oxygen molecules if no Nitrogen or water vapor is present. So, the relative concentration of oxygen in the same volume is increased. If that volume of oxygen-rich feed gas is fed to an ozone generator, the amount of ozone created is also increased.

   Increased service life and reduction in maintenance are also gained due to the removal of nitrogen and hydrogen.  With less HNO2 and HNO3 being formed, corona discharge cell maintenance,  or cleaning the cell, can be reduced without the risk of acid buildup. Since both HNO2  and HNO3 are highly conductive, they are capable of producing a path for corona  (electrical arcs) outside of the Corona Discharge Cell and Manifold.  Once an arc has started, catastrophic failure is the usual result.

Why is a contact or holding tank needed?

   While ozone is an extremely fast acting oxidizer and disinfectant, as compared to other  available agents, it does require some time to work.  Contact tanks are the means  to assuring that the proper amount of time is available.

   Another reason is to minimize the amount of ozone required to perform a specific task,  by making certain that the maximum percentage of available ozone is dissolved into  the water being treated.  It has been established that one of the mechanisms available  to increase this percentage is by increasing the amount of time that ozone is in  contact with the water.  Again, contact tanks are the means to assure maximum ozone  to water contact time.


Why can't I hook up any ozone generator to my aquarium?

   Because you may kill your fish.  Excessive concentrations of ozone is believed to  damage the gill hyphae of fish, sometimes resulting in mortality.  A properly sized ozone  generator, and a properly engineered ozone treatment approach are required to maximize  ozone's benefits in hobby or commercial aquaria, as well as to prevent unsafe ozone  levels from entering the animals environment.


Why do I still need a filter on my water supply if I'm using ozone?

   You do not always need a filter on your water supply when using ozone.  However, in the case where ozone is used to oxidize certain contaminants such as  iron and manganese, a filter will be a necessary stage in your water treatment  system.  This is because the iron and manganese are oxidized with ozone from the  soluble state to the insoluble state thus allowing these common contaminants to  to filtered out.  Without the oxidation stage the iron and manganese will remain soluble in water and will not be removed.


Is there any industry standard for quantifying how much ozone a generator makes?

   Yes! The Water Quality Association has recently established guidelines/specifications as to what and how the data is to be displayed on ozone generator production. At a minimum, this must include ozone volume in grams per hour or pounds per day, the ozone concentration by weight and the amount of air or oxygen flow utilized to obtain the volume and concentration readings. If any one of these three parameters are missing from the displayed data, the ozone generator manufacturer is providing misleading information and the data should be treated as suspect. Other conditions such as atmospheric pressure, dew point, correction factors for altitude, etc., should also be provided.


Why does bottled oxygen make more ozone on the same ozone generator?

   Elemental oxygen is the source gas utilized in the generation of ozone. As opposed to ambient or dried air that contains approximately 20% oxygen, bottled oxygen typically contains 97% to 100% oxygen purity. Since this s almost 4 times the amount of oxygen, this increase in oxygen content will therefore translate to 3 or 4 times more ozone production with the same ozone generator. Ozone Engineering also carries a line of oxygen concentrators that produce from 40% to 90% oxygen with dew points as low as -100 degrees. Oxygen concentrators are typically utilized for most installations as compressed oxygen tanks are often not allowed by regulatory agencies due to safety concerns with bottled oxygen.


Why doesn't Ozone Engineering cold spark generators need to have the cells replaced periodically like everyone else's do?

   Ozone Engineering patented technology provides for the production of ozone with less heat than other technologies utilized on the market today. This, in turn, leads to considerably less thermal stress on the electrodes. In addition, the electrical conductivity of the plasma gases is a major benefactor in the reduction of excess strain on both the electrodes and the dielectric material thus providing better reliability and longevity. Ozone Engineering cells have been in the field for as many as fourteen years without degradation in ozone production. The above comparison is made against other corona discharge technologies as comparison to ultraviolet based generators is deemed unnecessary. This is due to the fact that it is a well known fact that all ultraviolet ozone generators begin losing ozone production immediately upon applied power and continue to lose ozone production the longer they are used. Most ultraviolet cells require replacement within the first year or two depending on actual hours of on-time.

 

Contact Information

Feel free to contact the experts at "Ozone Engineering" any time for prices, comments or questions concerning products and services or for any information you may require in general.

Telephone
(707) 964-1992
FAX
(707) 964-1992
Postal address
31701 Pearl Dr. Fort Bragg, CA 95437
Electronic mail
General Information: matters@mcn.org

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Last modified: 06/05/04