Frequently asked questions

What is Ozone?

Ozone is a naturally occurring allotrope of Oxygen. Oxygen normally forms molecule consisting of two atoms (O2). Ozone is an Oxygen molecule consisting of 3 atoms. It is found high in the atmosphere in the Ozone layer where it is created by the effect of solar radiation on atmospheric Oxygen. At ground level, we are familiar with the wonderful fresh smell of Ozone following a thunderstorm – the action of lightning discharges on oxygen in the air forms Ozone. The three atom molecule of Ozone is highly unstable, with the third atom possessing strong oxidizing potential. Ozone is the second most powerful oxidant known and is highly effective at destroying bacteria, pathogens and odours.

How does Ozone work?

Ozone is a naturally unstable and will rapidly decay back into Oxygen O2 molecules. However the third atom of Oxygen in the Ozone molecule (which forms this temporary bond with the O2 molecule) will bond with for instance the cell membrane of a bacterium disrupting the cell process of the bacterium and killing it in a process known as cell lysing. At concentrations above 1.0 p.p.m. bacterial death is very rapid indeed. However at low concentrations the effect on pathogens may be negligible – (known as the ‘all or nothing’ effect). When Ozone comes into contact with an odour or Volatile Organic Compound it will oxidise the odour or compound into harmless and non-odorous substances.

How is Ozone made?

Ozone has to be made ‘in-situ’ by an ozone generator – it cannot be transported or stored as it rapidly reverts back to bi-atomic oxygen (O2). Relatively small quantities of Ozone can be made by the action of Ultraviolet lamps on air or Oxygen – very small quantities can also be made by a process known as cold plasma generation, typically used for producing medical Ozone from a pure oxygen source. Large remedial quantities of Ozone are made by a process known as Corona Discharge where a high voltage is passed across a dielectric material mimicking the action of lightning in a thunderstorm. With all of these methods, Ozone is particularly inexpensive to make requiring only a small amount of electricity and relatively dry air.

Where is Ozone most useful?

Ozone has many proven applications – it has been used for over 70 years in 20 different countries by the majority of tap and bottled water suppliers throughout the world as the primary method to sterilize water. Ozone is used by packaged food manufacturers to as a means of sterilising food without any of the unwanted chemical changes brought about by irradiation or other chemical preservation methods. Ozone is highly appropriate for nursing and care home environments to remove odour control potentially harmful pathogens. Ozone is also the primary method of choice in removing smoke odours from fire damaged rooms, hotel rooms, restaurants and the like. Ozone will also kill all dust mites and other similar small microscopic life forms. Ozone is a very powerful oxidant (cleaner) and will rapidly attack and destroy most known bacteria. Whilst some strains of bacteria can develop resistance to certain chemical disinfectants, they cannot develop resistance to Ozone, Ozone is found to be very effective against: Odour producing molecules
Smoke - Fire Damage, Cigarettes etc.
Aldehydes - Any organic compound containing the group CHO derived from alcohol by oxidation.
Ketones - Odour producers.
Organic Amines - An organic base formed by replacing one or more of the hydrogen atoms of ammonia by organic groups. Sulphides - A compound of Sulphur with another element.
Phenols - A white crystalline derivative of Benzene used as antiseptic and disinfectant. (used to make resins, explosives and pharmaceutical substances).
Thiols - Coal
Mercaptans - Bacteria (cat urine, onions, garlic etc)
Ammoniscal and Fermenting Compounds - A chemical reaction in which an organic molecule splits into simpler substances i.e.Sugar to Ethyl Alcohol by yeast Indole / Skatole - Highly inflammable non- metallic elements
In all of the groups , Ozone proves to be a more effective oxidising agent than Chlorine or its compounds. Processing after treatment with Ozone is simpler in that there are no residuals to be removed. Ozone can be of great benefit in the fruit and vegetable market place, where fresh appearance is most important to both the supplier and the customer. By the use of ozone generators the eradication of ethylene is possible thus slowing down the ripening process. Damaged produce can be prevented from causing cross contamination, due to microbial attack simply by ozination.

What advantages are there to Ozone?

At present most businesses rely on Chemical treatment in some shape or form as their preferred solution against bacteria and odours. The problem with this type of sterilisation is that it is prone to mis-use and neglect. The disadvantages are as follows:

  1. Chemicals and consumables can be expensive over the working period.
  2. The treatment is only as good as the operative using it.
  3. Problems can occur with improper use.
  4. Food or produce could be tainted by the cleaning materials.
  5. The protection decreases over the working period i.e. cleaning takes place at the end of the shift or working period, what happens in between?
These are the kinds of problems that can be addressed by the simple flick of a switch

What are the running costs?

Typically an Ozone Generator uses the same power as a small light bulb!

What about maintenance?

  • Only 1 moving part – the fan (with a lifespan in excess of three years).
  • Easy filter replacement.
  • Comprehensive 1 year warranty.

Is Ozone safe?

Much like any powerful oxidant, disinfectant, or bleach, Ozone should be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s directions. Unlike bleach, disinfectants and other cleaning methods, there have been no reported fatalities in it’s use in over 120 years. Ozone is empirically much safer than alternative methods of cleaning.

Why use an OC15K Ozone system?

The OC15K system is the safest and most reliable means of effectively treating a room and rapidly returning it to use typically within 15 minutes. The OC15K is a patented system which not only generates large quantities of Ozone for treatment, but also automatically catalytically removes all ozone from the room at the end of each treatment cycle – It does this so effectively, that there is actually less Ozone present in the room at the end of the cycle than was naturally present.

Is Ozone treatment cost effective?

Consider the existing alternatives:

  • Carpet shampooing is expensive, does not always solve the odour problem and does not address the issue of pathogen control – additionally each room is out of commission for some significant amount of time during the cleaning process.
  • Air fresheners only temporarily mask odours and produce no disinfectant benefit.
  • Chemical disinfectants and cleaners are expensive to purchase, labour intensive to apply, and rely upon conscientious and methodical application for benefit.
Use of an OC15K system while not completely replacing all existing methods of cleaning, will nevertheless provide real costs savings benefits in all of the above methods, whilst significantly improving the demonstrable hygiene standards, and perceived qualities of the environment in which it is used.