Ozone is a gas formed of oxygen atoms, however, different from the oxygen we breathe (chemical symbol O2) its molecule is formed of 3 atoms instead of 2. Therefore, it is an allotrope of oxygen, with the chemical symbol O3.
In nature, ozone is generated in the lower atmosphere by thunderstorms and in the upper atmosphere by ultraviolet solar radiation.
As a result of its ability to reduce the concentration of fungi, mites, bacteria, viruses and in general, the molecules perceived by the sense of smell, ozone is known for its sanitizing and deodorizing abilities.
It is a highly unstable gas, which deteriorates at varying rates, especially in relation to the temperature, reverting to oxygen O2. Thus, at zero degrees Celsius, it has a half life of 140 minutes, at 20 degrees Celsius, 40 minutes.
Due to its instability, it cannot be stored or transported; as a result of this limitation, it must be generated as near as possible to its point of use.
It is artificially generated via corona discharge, a process in which pure oxygen or duly treated air flows through a high-voltage alternate electrical field (7,000 – 15,000 Volts).
At high concentrations, ozone is a toxic gas when inhaled. For this reason, it is recommended that people and animals be evacuated from the area during treatment.
Exposure greater than 0.06 ppm for 8 consecutive hours and 5 days a week is considered dangerous.
We can smell ozone at concentrations of just 0.02 ppm (parts per million). Ozone can be recognized by its characteristic bracing smell - the same odor that, at times, accompanies thunderstorms, specifically due to the ozone generated by lightning charges. Ozone can also be used as a highly ecological sanitation system, as it takes and returns oxygen from the air.