Oxidation refers to the loss of electrons by atoms, ions or molecules. Reduction is the gain of electrons. Despite the similarity of the names, oxidation reactions do not require oxygen.

Oxidation Potential of Ozone

SpeciesFormulaOxidation Potential, (eV)
Hydroxyl RadicalOH-2.8
Nascent OxygenO-2.42
Hydrogen PeroxideH2O21.77
Hypochlorous AcidHOCl1.49
Hypobromous AcidHOBr1.33
Chlorine DioxideClO20.95

Non-chemists and those who don’t remember high school chemistry often think of oxidation as burning or rusting. If it happens instantly or rapidly, it’s an explosion. If it happens slowly, it’s corrosion. Molecularly, it is oxidation, or is a part of the oxidation-reduction process. The reaction can happen in gaseous, solid, or liquid states. 

There are only three elements with a higher oxidation potential than ozone: the fluorine atom, oxygen atom, and hydroxyl radical. Some of the reactions of ozone produce the oxygen atom and the hydroxyl radical, making it even more reactive than ozone alone.

Its high oxidation potential enables it to react with a wide range of compounds that are difficult to oxidize by other chemicals, and is particularly important in reactions with inorganic species like FE+2 and I-.  The electron transfer from the ozone molecule to the other compound does not always occur explicitly, but rather oxygen is transferred.

Benefits of Ozone Oxidation

  • Ozone is effective than chlorine for destroying bacteria and viruses.
  • The process of ozonation uses a short contact time (About 10-30 minutes).
  • You don’t have any harmful residuals left that need to be eliminated after ozone treatment since it decomposes rapidly.
  • After ozone treatment, there is no re-growth of microbes, however, except for those protected by the particulate matter in wastewater stream.
  • As we can generate ozone on-site, so there are few dangers and safety issues linked with handling and shipping.
  • Ozonation increases dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration in the effluent, thereby eliminating the need for re-aeration and improving the oxygen concentration in the receiving stream.

What Can You Remove With Ozone Oxidation?

Ozone is often used as a disinfectant (to destroy pathogenic organisms, pathogens, bacteria, viruses, and endospores), but also to remove organic components, including unwanted colors, odors, and flavors. Oxidized substances are usually less soluble in water and can be removed more effectively with other methods.

Ozone is also commonly used to purify drinking water, swimming pool water and cooling water, control odors, and treat waste water.