Ozone is Nature’s Powerful Oxidizer
Ozone laundry sanitation works because ozone is one of the most powerful natural oxidizing agents in existence. The process of ozone oxidation destroys or neutralizes contaminants in linens on contact, leaving behind no byproducts except oxygen.
DEL Ozone’s highly reliable ozone generators are the most advanced in the industry and they are backed by DEL engineering quality and support.
We will look at how ozone works in three steps:
1. How ozone is made.
2. How ozone oxidizes contaminating substances.
3. How ozone works in your laundry.
How Ozone is Made
Ozone is a form of oxygen. Unlike the ordinary oxygen we breathe (O2), it has three atoms of oxygen (O3). That extra atom of oxygen is what makes ozone a powerful oxidizer, which means it is nature’s powerful sanitizer, purifier, and even disinfectant.
The chemical reaction that results in ozone is pretty simple. Ozone is a form of oxygen that is created when a form of electrical energy breaks apart an ordinary oxygen molecule (O2, like the ones we breathe) starting a chemical reaction that results in ozone (O3).
- Electrical energy in some form breaks the ordinary O2 molecule into two O1 atoms.
- The free oxygen atoms unite with other O2 molecules to produce ozone (O3).
- (O1) + (O2) = (O3)
Ozone is an unstable molecule because the 3rd oxygen atom is connected to the other two atoms with a weak bond (symbolized by the single line in the diagram). The weak bond is why ozone is such a powerful sanitizer, as shown below.
Mother Nature makes ozone in two ways, and people use two similar methods to create ozone for sanitation applications. In both cases, the chemistry is the same. The following table summarizes these.
|Method||Natural Process||Human Engineering|
|Ultraviolet light||Sunlight splits O2 molecules in upper atomosphere, and free O1 atoms combine with other O2 molecules to make ozone (O3)||UV light is directed at an air flow to create free O1 atoms which then recombine to make ozone|
|Electrical Discharge||Lightning passing through air violently splits O2, and in the process rapidly creates ozone, which most people can smell||A trickle of electricity creates a small lightning storm in a corona discharge ozonator, creating high-density ozone|
Ozone has always been freely created by natural processes without human intervention. In most circumstances, it is not perceptible to people, though most of us can smell ozone in the air after a lightning storm. In naturally occurring concentrations, ozone does not ‘sanitize’ the world around it, although it does form a protective layer in the upper atmosphere that blocks unhealthy amounts of ultraviolet radiation from reaching the earth (and us).
Ozone Tries to Oxidize Everything
Ozone sanitation works because ozone oxidizes substances it comes into contact with. The third oxygen atom in ozone is bound to the molecule with a ‘weak’ bond. In other words, ozone is unstable because the third O atom is easily available to combine with any other substance it contacts. When the foreign substance combines with the third oxygen atom, it is ‘oxidized’ and the byproduct is ordinary oxygen (O2).
Ozone tries to oxidize everything it touches. That’s why it does not remain intact very long in laundry water: it is combining with foreign substances immediately. In this process, DEL Ozone machines are designed to be onsite sanitizer generators to supply a continuous stream of ozone to ensure that all the contaminants are neutralized.
Ozone works on almost every soil type a laundry might encounter:
• Micro-organisms, including bacteria and viruses
• Fungi, molds and yeasts
• Chemical stains
• Human fluids of all kinds
• Cosmetics, oils and ointments
• Some metallic compounds
Ozone and Your Laundry Sanitation
In your traditional laundry, heat – as in HOT water – acts as a catalyst to get the sanitation capability out of bleach and detergents. With ozone laundry sanitation, the ozone basically replaces the caloric value of heat. Ozone sanitizes effectively in cold water.
The ozone is produced as needed in a DEL Ozone generator and fed in gaseous form to your water supply line. DEL ozonators are capable of delivering variable amounts of ozone as needed to match the laundry load size and soil conditions. Ozone can be dissolved in the water for your existing laundry machines without disrupting the workflow of the laundry.