Louis Adams MTC, MWR, MSR

Ozone has been used for many years in the restoration industry with limited success. It may work extremely well on one job and not on the next. Why? This could stem from the misunderstandings about how it works and how to use it properly. Many restoration professionals have abandoned its use to other methods. When used correctly, ozone is a powerful tool in a restorers' tool box. Below are a few of the myths that need busting to empower the restorer.

Ozone Myth One:

All ozone generation is created equal.
Ozone is created in the air by two methods, corona discharge (CD) and ultraviolet (UV) light. Each method copies nature's way of producing ozone, either lightning (CD) or the sun (UV). When lightning occurs it creates heat and an electric charge that forms ozone and nitrogen oxides. When nitrogen oxides mix with humidity they form nitric acid, a known corrosive. UV generated ozone doesn't form nitrogen oxides. However, it does create other reactive oxygen species (ROS) that become hydroxyls, creating a broad spectrum oxidative treatment.

Ozone Myth Two:

1,000 milligrams of ozone production per hour will treat 1,000 to 88,000 cubic feet.
However, this doesn't take into consideration the surface area, contamination levels or treatment duration. A milligram of ozone is a specific measurement, that when diluted with ambient air, determines its concentration in PPM. That is why it is important to know the size of the treatment and surface area as well as contamination levels. This is how the approximate mg/h of ozone production and treatment duration should be calculated.

Ozone Myth Three:

Humidity isn't a factor in ozone production.
Corona discharge produced ozone is created with a spark and needs very dry air. At average interior temperatures and relative humidity, a 3,000 mg/hr corona discharge generator produces about 2,000 mg/hr. UV ozone production levels are not affected by humidity. In fact, it provides the conditions for other reactive oxygen species to be created.

Ozone Myth Four:

Place the ozone generator up high then leave.
In order to correctly use ozone for odor abatement or sanitizing you need three elements: concentration, lift/mix, and over pressurization. Ozone is heavier than air therefore it needs to be lifted. Lifting also mixes the ozone to a consistent PPM concentration. Most odors that we are trying to eliminate have had time to travel or were pressurized during the event. That is why we also need to pressurize the mixed ozone into all the nooks and crannies, to get it to react with the contaminants. But too much lift or overpressure will dilute the ozone levels below our target PPM and reduce the effectiveness of the treatment.

Ozone Myth Five:

I have an ozone generator so I don't need another one.
Ozone is an oxidizer, that when left running too long, can age some materials. Therefore, ozone treatments should be less than eight hours. It is better to do two short treatments than one long one. Conditions should be evaluated after each treatment. Higher output and/or additional machines may be required for successful deodorization or sanitizing to minimize the treatment duration.

Download the free Ozone Treatment Calculator app for both Apple and Android now. Empower your technicians and get supporting documentation for treatment requirements.

Download as pdf

© 2022 Nuvoaire. All rights reserved.