Information / Questions
What is ozone?
Ozone is a form of oxygen present in the Earth’s atmosphere. It is made up of three oxygen atoms (O3), in contrast to the more common form of oxygen, which consists of two oxygen atoms (O2).
What characteristics does ozone have?
Physical Properties: Ozone is a colorless gas under normal conditions and has a distinctive odor. It is heavier than air, so it tends to collect near the Earth’s surface.
Reactivity: Ozone is a very powerful oxidizer. It has high chemical reactivity and can react with a wide variety of compounds, such as metals, organic compounds, and even other atmospheric gases. This reactivity is due to its molecular structure and its ability to quickly release one of its oxygen atoms, forming molecular oxygen and reacting with other substances.
Ultraviolet radiation absorption capacity: Ozone is particularly known for its ability to absorb ultraviolet radiation from the sun. The ozone layer in the stratosphere acts as a protective barrier, absorbing much of the high-energy ultraviolet radiation, preventing it from reaching the Earth’s surface and protecting life from the harmful effects of this radiation.
Environmental importance: Ozone plays a crucial role in the Earth’s atmosphere. In addition to protecting against ultraviolet radiation, it also acts as a key component in atmospheric chemical reactions, such as the degradation of pollutants and the formation of smog. However, ozone in the troposphere, the lowest layer of the atmosphere, can be harmful to human health and the environment when it reaches high concentrations due to air pollution.
How is ozone produced artificially?
Electrical discharge: This method involves the use of an electrical discharge to generate ozone. A high-voltage source, such as a Tesla coil or ozone generator, is used to create a high-frequency electrical current in a discharge tube or cell. This electric current causes the breakdown of oxygen molecules (O2) and the subsequent formation of ozone molecules (O3).
Ultraviolet Photolysis: In this method, high-energy ultraviolet radiation is used to break down oxygen (O2) molecules and form ozone (O3). Ultraviolet light sources, such as low-pressure mercury lamps, are used to irradiate the oxygen and cause the ozone formation reaction.
Electrolysis of water: In this process, ozone is produced through the electrolysis of water. A device called an ozone generator is used to pass an electrical current through a water solution. During this process, ozone bubbles are generated in the water, which can then be released into the environment.
How is ozone gas used for the disinfection of food factories?
Ozone generators: Ozone generators are used to produce ozone in a controlled manner. These devices generate ozone from oxygen in the air using methods such as electrical discharge. The ozone produced is released in the areas to be disinfected, where it acts as an oxidizing and antimicrobial agent. Ozone generators can be portable or permanently installed in the factory ventilation system for continuous disinfection.
Air treatment: Ozone can be used to disinfect the air in food factories. Ozone generators are placed in strategic areas where pollutants are generated, such as ventilation systems, air ducts, or processing rooms. Ozone disperses in the air, killing bacteria and other microorganisms present.
Surface disinfection: Ozone can also be used to disinfect surfaces in food factories. Ozone misting or spray systems can be used to apply the gas directly to the surfaces to be disinfected. Ozone penetrates into cracks and corners, eliminating microorganisms and leaving surfaces clean and disinfected.
It is important to note that ozone disinfection must be carried out safely and following the applicable recommendations and regulations. Precautions must be taken to ensure that ozone concentrations are adequate and do not exceed allowable limits, as high ozone concentrations can be detrimental to worker health and food quality.
How is ozone gas used in the post-harvest treatment of fruit and vegetables?
Disinfection of washing water: Ozone is used to disinfect the water used in the fruit and vegetable washing process. Ozone-treated water can kill bacteria, fungi, and other pathogens present on the surface of products.
Disinfection of equipment and surfaces: Ozone gas can be used to disinfect equipment, storage rooms and handling surfaces in post-harvest facilities. Ozone acts as an oxidizing agent, killing microorganisms and reducing the microbial load in the processing environment.
Disease and spoilage control: Ozone can help control the growth of fungi and other microorganisms that cause disease and spoilage in fruits and vegetables. By reducing the microbial load, ozone can extend the shelf life of products and reduce losses during storage and transport.
Removal of pesticide residues: Ozone can also be effective in removing pesticide residues on the surface of fruits and vegetables. Ozone-generated oxidation can break down and degrade pesticide residues, improving food safety.
It is important to highlight that the use of ozone in the post-harvest treatment of fruit and vegetables must be controlled and carried out within the established safety limits. Specific guidelines and regulations must be followed to ensure the efficacy and safety of its use.
How is ozone gas used in the poultry industry?
Drinking water disinfection: Ozone is used to disinfect drinking water supplied to birds. Ozone-treated water helps kill pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses, that may be present in your water supply. This helps reduce the microbial load and maintain a safer water supply for the birds.
Disinfection of facilities and equipment: Ozone gas is used to disinfect poultry facilities, such as rearing houses, cages and rearing equipment. Ozone acts as a powerful oxidizing agent, killing microorganisms and reducing the presence of pathogens in the breeding environment. This helps to maintain a more hygienic environment and reduce the risk of disease spread.
Odor and Ammonia Control: Ozone is also effective in removing unpleasant odors and reducing ammonia levels in poultry facilities. Ozone reacts with volatile organic compounds responsible for offensive odors, breaking them down and neutralizing them. In addition, it can help reduce the concentration of ammonia, which is a by-product of the birds’ metabolism and can be detrimental to their health.
Improved air quality: Ozone contributes to improving air quality in poultry facilities by reducing the microbial load and eliminating odors. This can result in a healthier environment for the birds, promoting their welfare and reducing the risk of disease.
It is important to highlight that the use of ozone in the poultry industry must be carried out properly and safely, following the established guidelines and regulations. Ozone exposure levels must be taken into account to avoid adverse effects on birds and workers.
How is the concentration of gaseous ozone measured and what measurement ranges exist?
The gaseous ozone concentration is measured using specific instruments called ozonometers or ozonometers. These devices are designed to detect and measure the amount of ozone present in the air.
There are different methods and technologies used in ozonometers to measure ozone concentration. Some of the common methods are:
Ultraviolet absorption method: This method is based on the absorption of ultraviolet radiation by ozone. Ozonometers use an ultraviolet light source and measure the amount of light absorbed by ozone in a sample cell. The amount of light absorbed is directly related to the concentration of ozone present in the air.
Iodine Reduction Method: In this method, ozone in the air is reacted with iodine in an aqueous solution. The amount of reduced iodine in the solution can be measured and is related to the ozone concentration.
The measurement ranges of ozonometers can vary depending on the model and the specific application. Ozonometers can typically measure ozone concentrations in the range from parts per billion (ppb) to parts per million (ppm). Some more sensitive ozonometers can even measure ozone concentrations in the parts per trillion (ppt) range.
It is important to note that the ozone concentration in different contexts can vary widely. For example, in the atmosphere, the typical stratospheric ozone concentration ranges from 1 to 10 ppm, while in ambient air, ozone levels are typically in the 10 to 100 ppb range. In industrial applications, the ozone concentration can be significantly higher, depending on the process and specific requirements.