• Ozone is a form of oxygen. Unlike the ordinary oxygen we breath(O2), it has three atoms of oxygen(O3). That extra atom of oxygen is what makes ozone a powerful oxidizer, which means it is nature's powerful sanitizer, purifier, and even disinfectant.
  • The chemical reaction that results in ozone is pretty simple. Ozone is a form of oxygen that is created when a form of electrical energy breaks apart an ordinary oxygen molecule(O2, like the ones we breath) starting a chemical reaction that results in ozone(O3).
  • Electrical energy in some form breaks the ordinary O2 molecule into two O1 atoms.
  • The free oxygen atoms unite with other O2 molecules to produce ozone (O3).
  • (O1) + (O2) = (O3)
  • Ozone is an unstable molecule because the 3rd oxygen atom is connected to the other two atoms with a weak bond. The weak bond is why ozone is such a powerful sanitizer, as shown below.
  • Mother Nature makes ozone in two ways, and people use two similar methods to create ozone for sanitation applications. In both cases, the chemistry is the same. The following table summarizes these.
Method
Natural Process
Human Engineering
Ultraviolet light
  Sunlight splits O2 molecules in
  upper atomosphere, and free O1
  atoms combine with other O2
  molecules to make ozone (O3)
  UV light is directed at an air flow to
  create free O1 atoms which then
  recombine to make ozone
Electrical Discharge
  Lightning passing through air
  violently splits O2, and in the
  process rapidly creates ozone,
  which most people can smell
  A trickle of electricity creates a small
  lightning storm in a corona
  discharge ozonator, creating
  high-density ozone

 

Ozone has always been freely created by natural processes without human intervention.  In most circumstances, it is not perceptible to people, though most of us can smell ozone in the air after a lightning storm. In naturally occurring  concentrations, ozone does not ”®sanitize' the world around it, although it does form a protective layer in the upper atmosphere that blocks unhealthy amounts of ultraviolet radiation from reaching the earth (and us).