Ozone Fallacies

23rd Apr 2020

Ozone Fallacies

We have heard them all. Now it's time we set the record straight. Below is a list of a few ozone fallacies we have heard over the years.

"Ozone will Oxidize my Metal Pipes!"

This claim conjures an image of ozonated water running through pipes and when you come in the next morning, they are rusted through. This is not the case. pH level has more effect on corrosion rates of metals than most industry accepted dissolved ozone levels. While a powerful oxidizer, ozone has minimal effect on corrosion rates. Iron pipes that carry ozone gas, while not recommended, will last for months, or years, before any significant corrosion is present. For ozonated water, iron pipes will oxidize faster than water without ozone, but the pipes can last for years before needing replacement.

Ozone Solutions recommends the use of ozone approved materials. Iron pipes are not ideal but they will not degrade within a few days or even weeks as most people would have you believe. The same is true for most rubber seals.

"The Sky is Blue Because of Ozone"

Okay, this one is not related to our business, but we have heard it mentioned before so we will address it. While ozone is a blue gas, the sky is blue for a very different reason.

The blue color of the sky is due to Rayleigh scattering. Blue light has a shorter wavelength than the other "rainbow colors." Shorter wavelengths are scattered much more than longer ones. Because other colors are scattered much less, blue predominates as the color of the sky, as indirect blue light comes from all parts of the sky. Since you see the blue light from everywhere overhead, the sky looks blue.

So the next time your kid asks "Why is the sky blue?" you will have the answer!

Ozone Does Not Have any Residual

This one is also false, but clarification is needed. Ozone has an extremely short half-life. This short half-life makes it very reactive and excellent at killing pathogens. In very clean water, ozone can last for several hours. In most food processing applications, ozone half-life is anywhere from 10-20 minutes. For wastewater applications, the ozone residual is dependent on the organic loading, with high organic loading resulting in short ozone half-life.

"Ozone is Explosive"

This statement is also false but clarification is needed. For ozone concentrations produced by commercial and industrial grade ozone generator, ozone is NOT explosive. We have been working with ozone for over 20 years, and have not heard of one instance where ozone caused an explosion. If there ever was an explosion, it would make the front page of chemical companies newsletters for the next 10 years. Research by Kunihiko Koike and Masaharu Nifuku in Japan states that ozone can be made to explode at very high concentrations (greater than 11% by volume), with a minimum trigger energy. Ozone is an oxidant, and can support the rapid oxidation of fuels. Thus care must be taken in the handling of ozone.