What is Ozone?

Ozone (O3) is an effective antimicrobial oxidizer consisting of three oxygen atomsthat can be safely applied as a disinfectant/sanitizer wherever traditional chemical or thermal sanitation methods are used. It is used in either as a gas, or dissolved in water and used as an aqueous solution. In both configurations, ozone is validated to kill all known food and human pathogens, as well as safety-validated for facility workers and facility environments. Ozone is well understood and easily managed, providing effective sanitation and disinfection that is safe for food products, equipment and operators.

How is Ozone Generated?

Ozone is created when electrical energy breaks apart an ordinary oxygen molecule (O2) starting a chemical reaction that results in ozone (O3).

  1. Electrical energy breaks the ordinary O2 molecule into two O1 atoms
  2. The free oxygen atoms unite with other O2 molecules to produce ozone
  3. (O1) + (O2) = (O3)

In nature, ozone is created when sunlight or lightning splits oxygen molecules, liberating some oxygen atoms. These free atoms can combine with diatomic oxygen (O2) to create ozone (the aroma people sometimes smell after a lightning strike is ozone).

To achieve disinfection objectives throughout the processing facility, DEL Food Safety Solution systems duplicate this process by passing a high intensity electrical discharge through an oxygen-enriched stream of air. Just as in nature, the freed oxygen atoms combine with remaining O2 molecules yielding ozone. Generated and used on-site, ozone leaves no residual or harmful byproducts.

How Does Ozone Work?

Ozone is a gas containing one more oxygen atom than atmospheric oxygen (O2). Ozone is an unstable molecule because a weak bond (symbolized by the single line in the diagram above) connects the third oxygen atom to the other two atoms. This unstable third oxygen atom can combine with organic and inorganic molecules to destroy them (or change them in the case of dissolved metals) through oxidation. When this oxidation process is complete, only oxygen (O2) is left behind.

Ozone is effective against all food pathogens including:

E. coli

Ozone is very effective at breaking down and destroying biofilm.