Ozone is a gas composed of three oxygen atoms (symbol O3), it is present in a layer of the Earth’s atmosphere and protects us from the dangerous UV-B and UV-C rays that come from the sun. This gas is the most powerful bactericide and virostatic, usable, existing in nature. The bactericidal action of ozone is based on its high direct oxidation capacity, thanks to this quality microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, molds, fungi, yeasts, algae, etc.) are destroyed or inactivated with a rapid and definitive action without producing by-products. toxic. The gas can also reduce concentrations of heavy metals, (mercury, arsenic, lead, etc.), pesticides (atrazine, propazine, ground, etc.), pollutants (hydrocarbons, surfactants, nitrates, sulfites, etc.) and many other substances toxic substances in water, air and food. Ozone eliminates any type of odor and is a powerful bleach.
This gas was discovered in 1840 by the German chemist Christian Friedrich Schönbein who called it ozone, the name derives from the Greek word ozein which means smell. Schönbein is also remembered as the first person to investigate the reaction mechanisms between ozone and organic matter. In 1857, Werner Von Siemens patented and produced the first corona discharge generator. The first plant, for the treatment of drinking water, was installed in Oudshoorn in the Netherlands in 1893.
Later in 1907, the French chemist Marius Paul Otto created the “Compagnie Générale de l’Ozone”, the first company to implement the uses of ozone in the sterilization of drinking water. The first official medical applications of ozone date back to 1915, in fact, during the First World War this gas was used to cure gangrene.
For more than a century, ozone has been widely applied, for water and air treatment, in agriculture, livestock, food, chemical and health sectors. Oxygen and ozone therapy has become an approved and practiced medical application around the world. There are countless scientific validations of ozone by academics, universities and institutions, some of these (more than 19,000) are available online at PUBMED, the largest authority on international biomedical literature. Here are some important international validations:
-1976 EPA Environmental Protection Agency (US)
-1982 IBWA International Bottled Water Association (USA)
-1999 USDA Department of Agriculture (US)
-2001 FDA Food and Drug Administration (USA)
-2002 NOP National Organic Program (USA)
-2003 EFSA Food Safety Agency (EU)
-2012 BPR European Biocidal Products Products (EU)
The gas is only irritating on inhalation. Thanks to the pungent and pungent smell that characterizes it, ozone is perceived through the sense of smell even in the presence of small amounts. However, the olfactory perception threshold for this gas, approximately 50 ug / m³ (0.023 ppm), is much lower than the maximum concentration allowed in the environment. According to the current European Directive, the maximum allowed concentration, for one hour, in an environment where there are people or animals, is 240 ug / m³ (0.11 ppm). However, the concentration of 0.11 ppm should be considered an alarm threshold. The World Health Organization (WHO) indicates the maximum limit of exposure to human ozone, for an average of 8 hours per day, at 100 ug / m³ (0.047 ppm).
The main applications are: sanitation of water for human and animal use – treatment of clear water for the food and chemical industry – environmental sanitation – treatment of waste water.
The inactivation of microorganisms in water. Most microorganisms are inactivated, with a maximum concentration of 0.5 mg / l; The time required to kill 98 ÷ 99.9% of the microbial mass ranges from 2 seconds for hepatitis A virus, to 20 minutes for Legionella pneumophila. Another considerable part of the microorganisms is inactivated with a maximum concentration of 1.2 mg / l; the time required to kill 98 ÷ 99.9% of the microbial mass varies from 30 seconds for the herpes virus, to 20 minutes for the Verticillium dahilae fungus. A smaller part of the microorganisms is inactivated at concentrations ranging from 1.3 to 4.0 mg / l. The average time to inactivation of the largest number of species ranges from 30 seconds to 5 minutes. Contact times may vary depending on the temperature and pH of the water.
The protocols developed by the University of Parma, the University of Perugia, the University of Naples and the University of Udine were presented to the Ministry of Health in 1996.
The inactivation of microorganisms in the air is much more complex than that of water, the humidity of the air, the ozone concentration and the ambient temperature are decisive to define the contact time necessary for the elimination of the microbial mass. Most applications are carried out with an ozone concentration in the air of 0.3 ÷ 1.2 ppm and a contact time of 10 ÷ 60 minutes for normal disinfection procedures of rooms, offices, meeting rooms, bathrooms, changing rooms , etc. For specific applications, in the healthcare, chemical and food sector, the concentration and contact time can vary significantly, concentrations above 500 ppm will be specifically evaluated. There are innumerable scientific validations by university professors and academics: below is an extract from the scientific validation carried out by the General Department of Environmental Hygiene, University of Tübingen (Germany) by Prof. Heindel Theodore, Prof. Botzenhart Konrad and Prof. Streib R. -Staphylococcus. epidermidis, Micrococcus luteus, Arthrobacter citreus, Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium, Serratia marcescens, Pseudomonas fluorescens and Candida albicans were treated for one hour with a concentration of 500 ÷ 600 ug / m3 (approximately 0.30 ppm), ozonation led to a 99% reduction in all bacterial species tested.
Elimination of heavy metals and pesticides in water for human use and for industrial processes. The application by injection or bubbling produces a reduction of 60 ÷ 90% in heavy metals and 45 ÷ 90% in pesticides. The concentration and time depend on the amounts of heavy metals or pesticides that are broken down. Some elements produce flocculation and sediment that must be filtered later.