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Ozone Chemistry

Ozone Chemistry

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Published by AFLAC ............
Ozone Chemistry
Ozone Chemistry

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Published by: AFLAC ............ on Jun 26, 2009
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10/18/2011

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Because ozone is an unstable molecule, it should be generated at the point of application for use in
water treatment. It is generally formed by, combining an oxygen atom with an oxygen molecule
(O2):

3O2 ⇔⇔ 2O3

This reaction is endothermic and requires a considerable input of energy.

Schönbein (Langlais et < biblio >) first discovered synthetic ozone through the electrolysis of
sulfuric acid. Ozone can be produced several ways, although one method, corona discharge,
predominates in the ozone generation industry. Ozone can also be produced by irradiating an
oxygen-containing gas with ultraviolet light, electrolytic reaction and other emerging technologies as
described by Rice (1996).

Corona discharge, also known as silent electrical discharge, consists of passing an oxygen-containing
gas through two electrodes separated by a dielectric and a discharge gap. Voltage is applied to the
electrodes, causing an electron flowthrough across the discharge gap. These electrons provide the
energy to disassociate the oxygen molecules, leading to the formation of ozone. Figure 3-3 shows a
basic ozone generator.

Figure 3-3. Basic Ozone Generator

3. OZONE

April 1999

3-5

EPA Guidance Manual
Alternative Disinfectants and Oxidants

3.2.2 System Components

As shown in Figure 3-4, ozone water treatment systems have four basic components: a gas feed
system, an ozone generator, an ozone contactor, and an off-gas destruction system. The gas feed
system provides a clean, dry source of oxygen to the generator. The ozone contactor transfers the
ozone-rich gas into the water to be treated, and provides contact time for disinfection (or other
reactions). The final process step, off-gas destruction, is required as ozone is toxic in the
concentrations present in the off-gas. Some plants include an off-gas recycle system that returns the
ozone-rich off-gas to the first contact chamber to reduce the ozone demand in the subsequent
chambers. Some systems also include a quench chamber to remove ozone residual in solution.

Ozone Destruction

Gas Feed
System

Ozone
Generator

Influent

Effluent

Atmosphere

Ozone Gas

Ozone
Quench
(Option)

Off-Gas

Figure 3-4. Simplified Ozone System Schematic

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