Ozone also called Triatomic Oxygen is a chemical compound made up of Oxygen atoms only. Ozone is present in the upper stratosphere which protects us from solar ultraviolet radiation by forming a protective shield against it. Natural and industrial activities also produce ozone in the lower atmosphere. Ozone in the lower atmosphere acts as a pollutant that can cause respiratory ailments in humans and animals. Three oxygen atoms (O3) make up an ozone molecule, while the stable form of oxygen that usually occurs in the atmosphere has only two oxygen atoms.
It is only in small amounts in the stratosphere of the Earth, where it absorbs solar ultraviolet radiation that would otherwise damage living organisms on the earth. Since the molecule of ozone is unstable and likely to break, it cannot be stored and must be generated in situ with an ozone generator.
An ozone molecule consists of three oxygen atoms (O2).
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Ozone is a blue coloured gas with a boiling point of -112 degrees Celsius. Ozone can partially dissolve in water at atmospheric pressure. Ozone is thirteen times more soluble than oxygen at normal pressure and temperature. Ozone is a powerful oxidizer, with an oxidation potential of 2,07 Volt, making it one of the most powerful oxidizers used for water treatment.
Ozone is regarded as a powerful oxidising agent. This is mostly due to the ease with which it releases nascent oxygen atoms. It leads to the oxidation of:
Lead sulphide to lead sulphate:
4O3 + PbS → 4O2 + PbSO4
Iodide ions to iodine:
2KI + H2O + O3 → 2KOH + I2 + O2
Nitrogen dioxide to dinitrogen pentoxide
2NO2 + O3 → N2O5 + O2
1. What are the effects of Pollution on the Ozone Layer?
Ozone depletion and damage to the ozone layer are caused by elevated levels of pollution. Ozone depletion substances such as chlorofluorocarbons are mostly responsible for the ozone hole. This has resulted in a rise in UV radiation levels in the earth's atmosphere. These rays cause cancer and damage to humans and animals on earth.
2. What are Some Common Uses of Ozone?
Here are some common uses of Ozone:
Water purification: drinking water, bottled water, swimming pools, industrial wastewaters cooling towers, groundwater remediation, wastewater re-use.
Air purification: gas emissions from industry, conditioning system
Medicine and esthetics: ozone therapy, surgery, dental care, optical care, manufacture of pharmaceuticals and beauty products.
Food processing: rinsing water, food preservation.
Surface treatment: semiconductor manufacture, inorganics production.