Negatives of Ozone

23rd Apr 2020

Negatives of Ozone

Like every oxidant, ozone has its down-sides. However, it is important we clarify the actual negatives vs. the perceived "negatives" that arise from misuse.

Commonly stated "negatives"

  • Material degradation
  • Can harm people, pets and/or plants
  • Oxidizes materials

In light of ozone's effectiveness, are these three items really negatives or do we just need to use it safely like electricity or gasoline? All oxidizers will have similar "negative" effects if used improperly. Proper implementation is critical to achieving outstanding results in your process.

The real negatives are listed below

Half Life: Ozone is an unstable molecule which quickly changes back to oxygen. The time for half of the ozone in airto decompose (half-life) can vary from an hour to three days, depending on the temperature, humidity and movement of the ambient air. The half-life in water is usually 30 minutes or less, depending on the temperature, pH and water quality.

Storage: Ozone cannot be stored or transported, but must be made on site. This requires feedgas preparation and ozone generation equipment. It might be considered ideal if ozone could be contained in a bottle and delivered on site. It just can't be done. But when can a negative also be a positive? Since ozone cannot be stored, it is not possible to have a large, potentially dangerous volume of oxidizer such as you can have for chlorine or hypochlorite. If ozone generating equipment is run into by a fork lift, it won't create a dangerous chemical spill. Ozone leaks can be easily stopped by shutting off the generating equipment and then allowing the ozone to decay and dissipate.