Ozone, or O3, has three atoms, whilst oxygen, or O2,consists of two. Ozone is invisible, although when concentrated enough it takes on a blue tinge.
It is produced in several ways. Thunderstorms produce electricity which travels through the air and hits oxygen molecules at an incredibly fast pace. This collision results in ozone being formed.
Nitrogen oxide is also created in thunderstorms, and the combination of elements within the storm, when combined with sunlight, also results in the production of O3.
It can also be man-made - see ‘Different methods of ozone production’
Ozone kills bacteria quickly and efficiently. It attacks bacteria and envelope viruses and is able to break them down into essential elements such as oxygen, water and carbon dioxide. It destroys E. coli at over 3,000 times the speed of chlorine, making it the preferable choice for sanitising water, and it is commonly used in washing machines and Jacuzzis.
Ozone oxidises the cellular membrane in a process known as cell lysing. This creates multiple tiny holes in the bacterial wall that cause it to lose its shape and inevitably die. This process is similar to the natural methods our bodies use to attack bacteria, except the effectiveness is much greater in a much shorter amount of time. It works across all kinds of bacteria and envelope viruses which is what makes our products ideal for cleaning.
Ozone plays a prominent role in food production, removing harmful bacteria from soil for agricultural purposes. It also helps maintain food later on in its production, preserving meat and reducing the risk of food poisoning in meat packaging.
We are now able to create this useful substance ourselves with the development of ozone generators. This in turn means we can clean the air around us quickly and efficiently – so quickly, in fact, that it can eliminate sources of odours before humans even detect them.