After much research, the coronavirus responsible for the current pandemic is known to spread mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets. The greatest spread of respiratory droplets usually occurs when a person sneezes or coughs. Infected droplets land in the noses or mouths of uninfected individuals, causing the lungs to take in the virus immediately. Due to this method of transmission, COVID-19 is spreads mostly when people are in close contact with each other. The CDC has recently determined that the coronavirus does not typically spread on contaminated surfaces although it is not impossible.
Based on the CDC’s statements regarding the coronavirus’ airborne method of transmission, an HVAC system, either specified or retrofitted with an air disinfection and purification system, could help reduce dangerous, airborne pathogens. There are many variables involved in altering existing HVAC systems that will impact the efficacy of the presented technologies.
Another method to improve indoor air quality and reduce airborne pathogens is to increase outside airflow and/or increase the number of air change rates. These two alternatives were not considered in this system design since most HVAC systems typically do not have the heating and cooling capacity to increase supply or outside airflow. This brochure focuses on “add-on” upgrades to existing HVAC systems.
Ozone (O3), sometimes called “activated oxygen,” contains three atoms of oxygen rather than the two atoms we normally breathe. Ozone is the second most powerful sterilant in the world and can be used to destroy bacteria, viruses and odors. Interestingly, ozone occurs quite readily in nature, most often as a result of lightning strikes that occur during thunderstorms. In fact, the fresh, clean, spring rain smell that we notice after a storm most often results from nature’s creation of ozone. However, we are probably most familiar with ozone from reading about the “ozone layer” that circles the planet above the earth’s atmosphere. Here ozone is created by the sun’s ultraviolet rays. This serves to protect us from ultraviolet radiation.
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The third oxygen atom of ozone is extremely reactive because it is unstable. This atom readily attaches itself to other odor molecules. When contaminants such as odors, bacteria or viruses make contact with ozone, their chemical structure is changed to less odorous compounds. As more ozone attacks the remaining compounds, the odor is eventually destroyed. This process is called oxidation. Ozone essentially reverts back to oxygen after it is used. This makes it a very environmentally friendly oxidant.
Ozone not only destroys bacteria cells, but it does it without leaving a residual affect.
There are basically two methods of producing ozone:
Corona discharge creates ozone by applying high voltage to a metallic grid sandwiched between two dielectrics. The high voltage jumps through the dielectric to a grounded screen and in the process, creates ozone from oxygen present in the chamber. This also occurs naturally during lightning storms.
Ultra-violet (UV) light creates ozone when a wavelength at 254 nm (nanometers) hits an oxygen atom. The molecule (O2) splits into two atoms (O) which combine with another oxygen molecule (O2) to form ozone (O3). This also occurs naturally through the sun rays.
As soon as ozone is formed in a generator and dispersed in a room, some of it reverts back into oxygen (O2). This step occurs by several processes including the following:
Oxidation reacts with an organic material such as odors or smoke. Reactions with bacteria etc., which again consumes ozone by oxidation reactions.
Additionally ozone breaks down thermally. Higher temperatures destroy ozone quicker than lower temperatures. The ozone that remains is referred to as Residual ozone. “Residual” ozone created will return to oxygen usually within 30 minutes, in amounts equal to half its level. What this means is that after each subsequent 30 minute period there would be half as much residual ozone left at the end of the period as was present at the beginning of the period. This is similar to a geometric progression of 16; 8; 4; 2; 1. In practice, the half life is usually less than 30 minutes due to temperature, dust and other contaminants in the air.
Therefore, ozone, while very powerful, doesn’t last long. It does its job and then disappears back into safe oxygen.
Ozone Solutions designs and manufactures ozone generators that incorporate the most sophisticated technologies available. Ozone Solutions offers one of the largest ranges of ozone generators in the market. From the small residential scale to large remediation trailers, these systems are sure to exceed your expectations. All Ozone Solutions’ systems have a variety of technical features developed to simplify installation and maintenance and offer the best integration into your current process.
Our knowledgeable staff provide services that utilize both corona discharge and ultra violet ozone generators for odor, surface decontamination, germ and bacteria removal. This gas is considered the most powerful oxidant for disinfecting water or sanitizing surfaces. As part of our services, we use our scientific calculations to determine ozone dosage based on several factors (temperature, flow rate, etc.).
Ozone kills bacteria by destroying the cell wall of the bacteria. Once the cell wall is destroyed, the bacteria will be unable to survive. For more details, please check out our page on the Effect of Ozone on Bacteria.