Product Spotlight: VMUS-4

VMUS-4 Ozone Generator

With the VMUS-4 Corona Cell recently being added to our website, it is a great time to take a look at the specs and features of the VMUS-4 Ozone Generator.

The VMUS-4 is an ozone generator can produce ozone from dry air, or oxygen feed gas.  Either vacuum operation or pressure works fine for the ozone generator cell.  Air cooled operation allows for use in a multitude of applications without the dilemma of cooling water.  With the smaller size and secure ozone production, the VMUS-4 is a great value in ozone generators! The VMUS-4 is a wall mountable Ozone generator which produces up to 10 g/hr of ozone @ 4 l/min of oxygen at over 3% by weight. Higher ozone concentrations are possible at lower oxygen flow rates. At 1 LPM the VMUS-4 produces ozone at 5.3% by weight. For full details on ozone generator performance view our performance chart. This generator uses corona discharge technology. The corona cell in the VMUS-4 uses a true quartz dielectric in a stainless-steel shell. This technology offers maximum reliability and ability for future repairs if ever necessary. Every component on the VMUS-4 is replaceable or repairable for long-term operation in your facility. 

Key Features:

  • Produces Up to 10 g/hr ozone efficiently
  • Capable of also producing 4 g/hr ozone from dry air
  • Wall mountable
  • Flow meter is standard
  • Adjustable output Standard
  • Flow Switch Standard
  • Detachable power cord
  • Easy to install and operate
  • Powder coated Al. cabinet
  • Can operate under pressure or vacuum
  • Circuit protection equipped
  • Rebuildable ozone generator corona cell
  • 120 or 220 VAC power, 50/60 Hz capability standard

Different Options

4-20 mA input control – control output of ozone generator from 0-100% via a 4-20 mA input.  Additional information on this in the adjustable ozone output section below.

External ON/OFF control – turn ozone generator ON/OFF via dry contacts from remote location.  Useful for system integration where some automation is required.

Internal air pump – small air-pump can be built into the VMUS-4 to push air through the ozone generator.  This is useful when the VMUS-4 is used with an air dryer to produce ozone and a motive flow source is required.  Such as, a bubble diffuser at the bottom of a water tank.

Disable Flow Switch – option to disable the integrated flow switch.  Useful for low-flow applications, where ozone production at flows below 1 LPM are required.

Integrated Flow switch

The VMUS-4 uses an integrated flow switch for simple and reliable automation. This switch will turn the ozone generator ON when feed-gas flow rises above about 1.5 LPM, and turn the ozone generator OFF when feed-gas flow drops below about 1 LPM. This provides some simple automation for your ozone system. When used with a simple venturi injector the VMUS-4 will turn ON and OFF automatically based on suction from the venturi. When used with an oxygen generator the VMUS-4 will turn ON and OFF automatically when flow starts or stops from the oxygen generator. This feature eliminates the need for external wiring or flow/pressure switches.

When the ozone generator is turned OFF due to no flow, the No Flow light illuminates indicating this. When the flow is present this No Flow light will go out, and the blue Ozone light will illuminate, indicating ozone is now produced. This flow switch can be disabled by choosing the “Disable flow-switch” option when purchasing.  There is no cost difference on this option.

Adjustable Ozone Output

The VMUS-4 uses a digital adjustable ozone output shown in the image above. This will allow setting the ozone output from 0-100% using the rocker switch. Green status lights will show the current power setting of the ozone generator clearly and easily. The ozone output can also be adjusted while the ozone generator is in a No Flow status and not producing ozone.

Ozone output can also be adjusted via 4-20 mA input.  This allows adjustment of ozone output via a PLC or another device for automated operation.  When this option is chosen the keypad is overridden as long as the 4-20 mA is connected, if the connection is terminated the keypad is functional again.  Ozone output is displayed via the green LED indicators on the touchpad with the 4-20 mA input or the pushbuttons.

Circuit Protection

The VMUS-4 uses a sophisticated power inverter board that will protect the corona cell and/or transformer against failure. In the event, the corona cell does become contaminated with moisture, or dust the inverter will turn OFF ozone production immediately to protect against damage. Every 6 seconds this inverter will attempt to produce ozone and will restart automatically when conditions improve. While we hope our customers never flood, or contaminated the ozone generator corona cell, we know this is a possibility, this circuit protection will prevent potentially costly repairs.

Rebuild-able Corona Cell

The VMUS-4 corona cell is completely rebuildable. The Quarts dielectric can be removed from the stainless-steel shell and be cleaned, or replaced if necessary. We know that air dryers, oxygen concentrators, and check valves can fail. Therefore, we provide an easily rebuild-able corona cell so that these external failures do not have to be fatal to your ozone generator. The VMUS-4 Corona cell consists of very few components. The Stainless shell and quartz dielectric are the main components.  Each end is sealed with a Kynar end cap that has the fitting molded in (fewer leak points) with a Viton O-ring and Kynar sealing ring.  We stock and sell all replacement and repair parts for the VMUS-4 ozone generator.  Therefore, you can be confident that no matter what happens your ozone generator will be repairable.

Water disinfection with ozone gains traction

While chlorine and ultraviolet light are the standard means of disinfecting water, ozone is equally effective in killing germs. To date, ozone has only been used as an oxidation agent for treating water in large plants. Now, however, a project consortium from Schleswig-Holstein is developing a miniaturized ozone generator for use in smaller applications such as water dispensers or small domestic appliances. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicon Technology ISIT has provided the sensor chip and electrode substrates for the electrolysis cell.

Compared to conventional means of disinfection such as chlorine or ultraviolet, ozone dissolved in water has a number of advantages: it is environmentally friendly, remains active beyond its immediate place of origin, has only a short retention time in water and is subsequently tasteless. Due to its high oxidation potential, ozone is very effective at combating germs. It breaks down the cell membrane of common pathogens. In Germany, ozone is chiefly used to disinfect swimming pools and drinking water and to purify wastewater. Yet it is rarely used to disinfect water in domestic appliances such as ice machines and beverage dispensers or in other fixtures such as shower-toilets. MIKROOZON, a project funded by the State of Schleswig-Holstein and the EU, aims to change this. Researchers from Fraunhofer ISIT have teamed up with the Itzehoe-based company CONDIAS GmbH, which was founded in 2001 as a spin-off from the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST, and CONDIAS partner Go Systemelektronik GmbH, from Kiel. The three partners are developing a miniaturized ozone generator with integrated sensor technology and microprocessor control system.

Direct production of ozone via water electrolysis
“The ozone generator is very compact and can be integrated in systems and appliances that require regular disinfection,” says Norman Laske, researcher at Fraunhofer ISIT. “You simply connect it up to the water line, and it will produce the right amount of ozonized water whenever required.” The ozone generator is only a couple of cubic centimeters in size and comprises an electrolysis cell, a sensor chip, control electronics to regulate current and voltage, and electronics to read the sensor signals. “The two electrodes are separated by an ion-conducting separator membrane,” Laske explains. “When a voltage is applied across the electrodes, the water is split by a process of electrolysis. Because of the diamond layer coating the electrodes, this process first forms hydroxyl radicals, which then react to form primarily ozone (O3) as well as oxygen (O2).”

The electrodes for the ozone generator are made of silicon wafers with precisely etched trenches.

The electrodes for the ozone generator are made of silicon wafers with precisely etched trenches. Credit: Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

Diamond-coated silicon electrodes
How the electrodes with their boron-doped diamond layer are made is the know-how that has given CONDIAS GmbH its name. The company already uses a chemical vapor deposition process to coat large-scale electrodes required to disinfect the ballast water of marine vessels. However, the electrodes required for the MIKROOZON generator are much smaller. They are made of silicon and have finely etched trenches that run through the electrodes to form narrow slits on the reverse side. In order to be able to etch these trenches with the required precision, the researchers from Fraunhofer ISIT had to have wafer material manufactured to their own specifications.

To build an ozone generator, pairs of these electrodes are mounted back to back, with a separator membrane between them. The gases are released at the interface to the separator membrane and then escape through the trenched structure to the other side of the electrode, where the turbulence of the water flow ensures that they are efficiently dissolved and dispersed.

The sensor chip from Fraunhofer ISIT is equipped with three sensors to measure conductivity, mass flow and temperature. These parameters need to be monitored in order to control the electrolytic process. The sensor chip provides the data that is required to control ozone production in line with the quality and the amount of water used. “In order to ensure that there is enough ozone available over the period required, the temperature has to be monitored,” Laske explains. “This is because ozone decomposes more quickly at higher temperatures.” Conductivity correlates to the degree of water hardness: the harder the water, the higher the conductivity—meaning that more current must flow in order to achieve the desired effect. When equipped with a system to monitor these parameters, the ozone generator should be capable of processing up to 6 liters of water per minute—without the sensor chip, it is currently specified for 0.5 to 1.5 liters.

CONDIAS is marketing the mini-generator under the brand name of MIKROZON. “Each partner has contributed years of experience from their own area of specialization,” says Volker Hollinder, CEO of CONDIAS GmbH. “This has created a product that can now be manufactured on an industrial scale. The spread of the coronavirus has underlined the importance of disinfection. The use of chemical disinfectants is often problematic, because they leave harmful residues. Our system uses electrolytically generated ozone to eliminate germs. It therefore does not produce any residues from disinfectants.”

Source:  Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

The Terribly Fresh Smell of Ozone

Our noses have snuffed up the fresh smell after a thunderstorm, clean laundry, and well-aerated water ever since creation; but we were not aware that a simple combination of three oxygen atoms was responsible for these delightful odors until Christian Friedrich Schönbein zeroed in on this fact in the later 1800’s. The peculiar odor was noted by the Dutch scientist Van Muram in 1801 when he ran his electrostatic generators. He called it “the smell of electricity.” Schönbein’s experiments with electrolysis also generated some ozone. Although this odor was not the focus of his studies, he could not resist investigating the source of this smell. He felt close enough to finding this substance to give it a name. For this he turned to the language of the insightful and descriptive Greeks.

Scanning through the various forms of “smell” in a good Greek dictionary for a suitable name, he came across the verb form ὄζω which sounds like “odzo” and translates “I smell” as in, “I smell the rain.” The root word in Greek for smell is ” ὀδ” from which the English word “odor” is derived. Typically you read that the word “ozone” comes from the infinitive form ὄζειν “to smell,” but I would like to suggest he was attracted to the genitive form “ὄζων” which sounds most like the German “ozon” and the English “ozone.” The genitive form is used to express the idea of source, and is used in Greek texts to mean “that from which the smell comes.”

“Ozone.” The word fit well. The ancient Greek poet Homer, reciting his epic poem “The Iliad” about 1000 years before Christ said,

“As an oak falls headlong when uprooted by the lightning flash of God,
And there is the terrible ozone of brimstone –
No man can help being dismayed if he is standing near it
For a thunderbolt is a very awful thing –
Even so did Hector fall to earth and bite the dust.
Homer, The Illiad, Book XIV

Here Homer connects the odor of ozone with lightning and its awful power. Instead of translating the Greek word “ὄζων” as “smell”, I have simply transliterated the sound of the Greek word directly to “ozone.” Schönbein’s name for this substance was an excellent choice, having a few thousand years of historical precedent for naming this important molecule.

A variety of careful observations about the circumstances of ozone production and its effect on other substances brought Schonbein closer to understanding the precise composition of ozone. Eventually in 1865 another man, Jacques-Louis Soret, determined the precise formula for ozone as O3. Experiments with ozone exposed some of the harmful effects of high ozone levels to plant and animal health, but also led to the realization that ozone could be used to disinfect polluted water. It became clear that with proper use, ozone could be a powerful tool for healthy living. The fresh, invigorating, clean smell of a tiny pinch of ozone is our hint to ozone’s helpful qualities.

A little dose of bright sunshine on our skin is good for the body. It is healthy and we are attracted to it, but too much can burn and cause harm. So it is with ozone. Just like fire or electricity, its power must be respected and put to precise and careful use. We need a gentle flow of electrons through our nervous system to think and direct our bodies, but need protection from the power of electricity in the world around us.

How much is too much? At about the time the smell of ozone becomes distinctive, it is time to be aware of its source and the potential for dangerous levels of ozone. With an increase in concentration, it turns quickly to a pungent suffocating smell. At that point it is time to limit breathing exposure to avoid oxidation of sensitive lung tissue. Only a good quality ozone sensor that is up to date with calibration will give accurate measurements of ozone levels. OSHA requires that workers not be exposed to ozone levels over 0.1 ppm ozone over the course of 8 hours.

Ozone as the “smell of electricity” could also be described as “the smell of energy.” Ozone is oxygen that has been infused with a tremendous amount of energy. When that energy is released, it causes physical damage to small sensitive things like bacteria, viruses, and sensitive lung tissue. The fresh smell of ozone after a thunderstorm is our reminder that big powerful things are happening to bring refreshing rain. A hint of ozone smell in a water bottling plant can make you confident that the water is free of harmful pathogens.

Ozone is a very valuable form of oxidizing energy with countless uses. Dissolved in water, ozone retains its power to disinfect, but does not come into contact with the sensitive tissue of your lungs. It is safe to handle ozonated water provided any ozone off-gassing is limited or safely removed. Dissolved ozone is like electricity in a shielded wire where it is safe and useful. Those who build and operate machines that harness the power of ozone must understand and respect the power of ozone as well as the rules and regulations that have been put in place for the safe use of ozone.

How to Dismember Corona Virus with Ozone

Given the mountain of evidence that ozone is a quick and effective destroyer of viruses and bacteria, why is there so much hesitation to champion ozone as a key weapon against the spread of Covid 19? The EPA has a list of 478 different products and 30 active ingredients that officially kill the Covid virus, but ozone is nowhere to be found in the list. The closest thing to ozone that is on the list is hydrogen peroxide. Have all these products actually been applied to the virus and proven to destroy or inactivate it? How can you tell if a virus is dead or inactive? Given what we are gradually learning about the virus, how it spreads, and how it infects our bodies, how effective are these disinfectants in preventing infection?

Dr. Chedly Tizaoui, a professor of chemical engineering at Swansee University has taken a rather novel approach in an attempt to answer some of these questions. Instead of conducting statistical analysis of thousands of people or trying to count dead viruses after applying a particular disinfectant, Dr. Tizaoui has applied molecular modeling to evaluate the effect of ozone on the molecular structures the virus. He shares his results in the International Ozone Association research journal “Ozone: Science and Engineering”

Molecular modeling is an especially useful tool for studying viruses because viruses are so small they can’t be seen with a standard light microscope. Their shape and structures are defined on a molecular level, so understanding the types of molecules making up their structure allows us to make an accurate model. The model not only evaluates the shape and function of corona virus anatomy, but it also evaluates the bonds holding these molecules together. Understanding the relationships between these molecules and how they function together to make the Corona Virus so sucessful provides important insight in the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of the virus.

We may not yet know all the complex interactions of the virus with people, or exactly how the virus infects, but we do have a pretty clear understanding of the molecular structure of the virus. It is also clear that the unique shape and structure of the molecular structures on the outer shell play a key role in the success of the virus. Molecular modeling is a tool that helps us see how this structure is altered when a molecule like ozone comes into contact with it.

Ozone is like a molecular hand grenade in the virus world and has the power to change the shape of the virus’s “arms” and disable them. Various kinds of molecules behave and react in predictable ways making it possible to use molecular modeling to study what happens when something like ozone molecules interacts with the structures on a virus.

Ozone is an exciting molecule to model because it packs a lot of energy. The molecule is very sensitive and quick to unload its energy on nearby molecules. It has a very positive 100 year track record for effectively destroying viruses and bacteria. The water treatment industry has grown to appreciate the value of ozone for destroying pathogens in water. The food industry is also learning how to harness its power for sanitation and shelf life extension. Ozone has also been used extensively in medical treatment, but faces an uphill battle against the pharmaceutical and chemical industries.

After applying the science of molecular modeling to Corona Virus anatomy and ozone, Dr. Tizaoui concludes, “The results show that ozone is able to attack the proteins and lipids of the virus’s spikes and envelope, particularly the amino acids tryptophan, methionine and cysteine, and the fatty acids,varachidonic acid, linoleic acid, and oleic acid. Ozone also attacks the N-glycopeptides of the spike protein subunits 1 and 2, though at lower reactivity. Disruption of the structure of SARS-CoV-2 could inactivate the virus, suggesting that ozone could be an effective oxidant against COVID-19 virus.”

Thank you, Dr. Tizaoui, for sharing this research. Now it’s our job to safely get the ozone where it needs to be to do its work.

Ozone for Iron Removal

Thought I would share my quarterly maintenance report for an ozone iron removal system serving a hog farrowing operation. Iron in the water had been causing high maintenance costs on the power washing equipment used to maintain a sanitary environment. We sized an ozone well water treatment system to remove the measured iron levels at a rate of 20 gallons per minute. The system injects ozone with a venturi, circulates it through a contact tank, and filters the oxidized iron with two sand filters. It has been running for a year and a half now and continues to provide excellent iron removal results. The picture shows two water filters, grey one with clay silt from the well water prior to entering the system. The red one is a post system filter to remove any iron the sand filters missed. I used the Chemetrics iron test kit we sell to verify results. The clear ampule reflects a post-filtration reading of 0.2 ppm total iron. The medium colored ones reflect a pre-treatment sample of 1 ppm iron. The dark-colored one was a test of the backflush water indicating what the sand filters are removing. Overall, the system is operating very well. I changed filters and check valves, measured system performance, and prepared a report for the customer. This summer the demand will be higher on the system, so I will try to get there a little before the next scheduled visit. Ozone can provide excellent results when properly applied and maintained. We are happy to provide quarterly maintenance to keep your ozone system operating at peak performance. Give us a call at 515 635-5854. We’d be happy to provide service for any ozone equipment on the market.

Good and Evil of Ozone

The ozone hole is slowly healing

The Coronavirus pandemic has sparked an exponential increase in interest in ozone as a disinfectant. The phones at Oxidation Technologies have been ringing non-stop with people looking for answers and looking for help with their grand ideas for ozone as a silver coronavirus bullet. Our ozone specialists have been working hard to provide accurate information for those looking for answers. Ozone has been a powerful tool for over a hundred years, but misinformation is dangerous in a climate of desperation and hype. Our goal throughout this health crisis has been to educate our callers about safe and unsafe uses of ozone, effective and ineffective applications of ozone, and the facts and false claims people make about ozone.

If there is so much interest in ozone as a powerful and chemical-free disinfectant, why do we read so much about ozone as a very bad and deadly pollutant? For example, the American Lung Association says “Ozone (also called smog) is one of the most dangerous and widespread pollutants in the U.S.”  On the other hand, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of ozone as an antimicrobial agent for the treatment, storage and processing of foods in gas and aqueous phases.” For years, now, we have recognized the value of an atmospheric layer of ozone that shields “living things from too much ultraviolet radiation from the sun.” Ozone sterilization of water has made the bottled water industry possible providing billions of bottles of safe drinking water. The answer to this paradox is not difficult or mysterious, but does require some ozone education. We hope you take some time to explore the wealth of ozone information on our website.

Journey to the Center of a DBD Ozone Generating Plasma Cell.

Photo by Devansh.sharma – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

A Not-So-Lazy River Circuit Analogy

Our journey to the center of an ozone generating plasma cell begins with a ride around a not-so-lazy river. Perhaps you’ve enjoyed floating in a raft around a lazy river at a hotel or water park. Picture these rafts as electrons flowing through a circuit. Moving magnetic fields are pushing electrons through the fluid media of metal atoms. They follow the circular paths of circuits like rafts floating around and around the lazy river ride. A pump continually pushes the water along.

Unlike the continuous flow in one direction of direct current (DC), alternating current continuously reverses the flow of electrons. Imagine the lazy river model constantly changing direction. The electrons first flow one way, slow, reverse, and rush the other way. The electric supply to your home goes through 60 cycles per second. Our lazy river model begins to defy imagination at this rate of change. You can think of electrons as virtually weightless, unlike all the water and rafts in a lazy river. Electrons are quite capable of reversing direction very quickly.

Energy Transfer
The flow of electrons through a wire might be apparent from the glow of a light bulb. As electrons squeeze through a resistive part of the circuit, the wire heats up transferring energy to heat and light. Other things are happening outside the wire. Hold a compass near a wire in which current is flowing, and the needle is pulled away from North. Whenever an electric current flows, a magnetic field develops around the wire. Stop the flow, and the field collapses.

Wrap this conductor into a coil, and the magnetic field is intensified. Add an iron core, and a magnet is born. A continuous flow supports a useful magnetic field, capable of pushing the rotor of a motor or the lever of a switch. Again we notice a transfer of energy, this time from electric current flow to some mechanical motion. Energy transfer doesn’t stop there.

Energy transfer is reversed in a magnetic field when the electric current stops. When current stops or reverses, the magnetic field collapses. The collapsing magnetic field gives electrons a push in the coiled conductor. This phenomena opens up the possibility of generating a flow of electrons in a second circuit that is isolated from the first circuit. It also introduces radio waves. Imagine a second lazy river next to yours. It doesn’t have a pump, so the water is still. But imagine an invisible force generated by the flowing of the first river pushing the water along in the second. Such a transfer of energy happens with the flow of electrons and is essential to ozone production within a plasma cell.

A Dam in the River: The Plasma Cell Heart

A dam in the lazy river brings the rafts to a halt, but build two Olympic sized pools on either side of the dam. Now the river continues to flow awhile even with a dam because it takes time to fill the pool. Depending on the strength of the pump, the water flows for a while as one pool gets a little deeper while the other is drawn down. If you can pump one pool much deeper than the other, a significant stress builds on the dam. Our lazy river could get exciting if the dam were to burst. We are getting closer to the center of a plasma cell.

In your mind you need to convert the Olympic sized swimming pools in our lazy river circuit to large flat pieces of metal. In the electron world, the dam between these two plates is an insulator, a material that prevents the flow of electrons. Electrons pile up on one side while they are drawn down on the other side. Electrons are the negative charge. Pulling electrons away leaves one side with deficiency of electrons: a positive charge. If the insulator were breached, a powerful surge of electrons would create a dramatic spark. It would be equivalent to the deep swimming pool emptying to the shallow one in milliseconds.

It is here at the “dam” where we discover the center of a plasma cell. When the distance between the two electrically charged plates is made smaller, the electrostatic forces between them grow exponentially. In other words, a thinner dam makes a more powerful electrostatic field. But a thin dam is also weaker and more susceptible to failure. The goal is a material that is strong and a good electrical insulator. Ceramic and quartz serve well for this purpose. But without some oxygen present in this high electrical pressure environment, we only have a capacitor and no ozone production.

We need to introduce one more element: a thin layer of oxygen as part of the “electron dam.” We can think of the dam as a sandwich of two insulators with a very thin slice of oxygen between them. When oxygen is exposed to the tremendous electrostatic forces found within this space between highly charged surfaces, the oxygen molecules are pulled apart and re-combine in highly energized forms. I would like to zoom in for a closer look at this sliver of space.

A Peak Inside the World Between Dielectric Barriers

Photographs of this space between the two insulators reveals what appears to be a mini, but intense electrical storm. We are used to thinking about lightning bolts jumping from one charged conductor to another, but in this electrostatic microcosm, the mini “bolts of lightning” are jumping from the surface of one insulator to the surface of the second insulator. In the presence of the strong electric field, the molecules within the insulator become polarized. This means that the electrons are pulled by the positive electrode toward one end of the molecule that make up the insulator. Even though electrons are unable to flow through the insulator, the polarization sets up “pools” of electrons on the surface. We call the insulating material used in in this application a “dielectric.” The type of ozone generator we are entering here is a dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) generator.

Exactly what is happening in this high electrical pressure world between dielectric barriers has been and continues to be a topic of considerable research and study. Already around 1897, John Townsend discovered that the strong electric field in the oxygen space between dielectrics initiates electron avalanches. A free electron among the oxygen atoms accelerates very quickly because it is attracted to the positively charged plate (anode). When it reaches a high enough velocity and collides with an oxygen molecule, it knocks off another electron, turning the molecule into a positively charged ion. This ion begins to move in the opposite direction toward the negatively charged plate (cathode) while the two electrons further accelerate toward the anode and collide with more oxygen molecules.  As the growing electron cloud races toward the anode, it leaves a trail of positively charged ions in its wake.

This trail of ions and free electrons is conductive, and allows for a discharge of electric current through the oxygen. The discharge is the flow of electrons that has gathered on the surface of the dielectric towards the positive charge on the other side of the oxygen gap. It is this discharge of energy that breaks the oxygen molecule bonds releasing free oxygen atoms. Some re-combine with single atoms, and others combine with pairs to form highly energized ozone molecules made of three oxygen atoms. The world here at the center of an ozone generator is a stormy one swarming with surges of electrons.

DBD: A Specialized Form of Corona Discharge

The discharge is similar to a spark, but not nearly as hot. It does not result in a discharge of the electrodes. Only small areas of the inside surface of the dielectric discharge with each electron avalanche. The strong electric field induces a secondary, high voltage mini-circuit within the oxygen gap. Thousands of these discharges can be repeated as long as the voltage supplied to the anode and cathode continues to increase.

The power supply for an ozone generator alternates this electric field thousands of time each second. When the pressure (voltage) rises through the threshold that sets off electron avalanches, the discharge storm erupts. Since the electric field changes thousands of times each second, the oxygen gap experiences thousands of storms each second. The optimal frequency and voltage depends on the gap size and oxygen pressure. The electronics controlling the voltage need to be tuned to match the particular dielectric arrangement for optimal ozone production.

The benefits of setting off thousands of mini discharges in a space between insulators instead of simply allowing a spark to ark between the positive and negative electrodes are the following: 1) an arc generates so much heat that it melts most materials. Such an arc is useful for welding or plasma torches, but would destroy an ozone generator. 2) Ozone production is minimal with an arc. Most of the energy is converted to heat and the heat destroys ozone. 3) Producing many small discharges from dielectric surfaces within a strong electrical field stays cooler and yields more ozone.

This form of ozone generation is called “Dielectric Barrier Discharge” (DBD). DBD belongs to a category of corona discharge. Corona discharge was observed by ancient sailors on the masts of their ships as a flare of luminous plasma at the tips of the mast and other pointed parts of their ship when the atmosphere is highly charged. The phenomenon occurs when strong electrostatic forces concentrate at sharp points and break down air to form plasma. You can observe this phenomena with an electrostatic generator in a dark room. Many of the small ozone generators sold for home use rely on a form of corona discharge from sharp points. Higher quantities of high concentration ozone used in commercial applications often use DBD type ozone generators.

Ozone can also be produced with ultraviolet light and radiation bombardment. The ozone layer which protects earth from harmful radiation is produced by ultraviolet light with a wavelength less than 200 nm. Ultraviolet light between about 200 and 300 nm destroys ozone. The ozone layer is maintained with a balance of ozone generation and destruction with ultraviolet light. Ozone can be created in water with electrolysis. Passing an electric current through water breaks the water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. Using specific electrodes results in oxygen combining to form ozone.

Here at Oxidation Technologies we do not build DBD plasma cells, but we rely on companies who continue to research and build quality generators for a wide range of applications. We specialize in integrating the right ozone generators into specific applications. Dissolving ozone into water requires ozone generators that make higher concentrations of ozone. Many applications can utilize low pressure or even slight vacuum to minimize the danger of ozone leaks. Sometimes controlling precise levels of low ozone concentrations can best be attained with an ultraviolet ozone generator. Whatever your application, we have the expertise to integrate the right ozone generator to your process.

Ozone: Science & Engineering  The Journal of the International Ozone Association  Volume 41, 2019 – Issue 1Ozone Synthesis and Decomposition in Oxygen-Fed Pulsed DBD System: Effect of Ozone Concentration, Power Density, and Residence Time Sławomir Jodzis &Tobiasz Barczyński From>

IOP Science publication: Dielectric barrier discharges: progress on plasma sources and on the understanding of regimes and single filaments From <>

Journal of Physics B: Atomic and Molecular Physics  Electron impact dissociation in oxygen B Eliasson and U Kogelschatz Journal of Physics B: Atomic and Molecular PhysicsVolume 19Number 8

From <>

Free Use article from IOP Science:

Plasma Chemistry and Plasma Processing, Vol. 23, No. 1, March 2003 ( 2003) Inûited Reûiew Dielectric-barrier Discharges: Their History, Discharge Physics, and Industrial Applications Ulrich Kogelschatz1 Receiûed April 5, 2002; reûised May 7, 2002

Very clear and graphic explanation

Impact of Ozone on Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products

Every day, pharmaceutical companies around the world produce tons of products that people use to enhance their quality of life. This realm of products has been lumped into a category called “Pharmaceuticals & Personal Care Products,” (PPCPs). These products and drugs do not disappear, but are found increasingly in the water being discharged from wastewater treatment plants. The impact that this cocktail of chemicals has on the animals and people dependent on this water is not fully understood, but the evidence is clear that it is not good.

Ozone is a powerful oxidant capable of breaking troublesome molecules. What impact does ozone have on PPCPs? A recent laboratory study published in the engineering journal of the International Ozone Association (IOA) exposed water containing thirty seven different PPCPs to investigate the degradability of these chemicals.

Eight of the thirty five were very quickly degraded to or below their limit of detection with a dissolved ozone dose of 1ppm within 5 minutes. Five more were degraded with a dissolved ozone dose of 2ppm within 5 minutes. Five more required at least 10 minutes of retention time at 2 ppm.

The other half of the thirty five required more time and a higher dose of ozone. Three of them, (DEET, Ketoprophen, and Primidone) did not degrade below their limit of detection even when exposed to 9ppm of dissolved ozone for 15 minutes.

Ozone clearly has a significant role to play with PPCP cleanup. Further study is sure to discover ways to optimize the process and make it more effective. Oxidation Technologies  specializes in integrating ozone into the specific process of diverse customers. We continue to pursue a better understanding of ozone use in a variety of applications.


N. Evelin Paucar, Ilho Kim, Hiroaki Tanaka & Chikashi Sato (2019) Ozonetreatment process for the removal of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in wastewater, Ozone: Science & Engineering, 41:1, 3-16, DOI: 10.1080/01919512.2018.1482456


Precise Ozone Control for Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS)

The delicate balance of natural systems of the oceans provides an abundance of food for the world. The current rate of harvest, however, is degrading this rich resource. Inland farming of ocean fish is becoming an attractive alternative. Precise ozone control is a key component for replicating an ocean environment for inland farming of ocean fish.

Ozone provides excellent disinfection, enhances the filtration process, and increases the overall efficiency of recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS). Ozone is one of the most powerful disinfectants available. It accelerates the natural processes of breaking down toxins and filtration. It is made of oxygen, and decomposes back to oxygen or oxides when its work is finished.

The latest edition of “Ozone News: The Newsletter of the International Ozone Association”
Vol. 47 no. 4 published an article giving details of this technology:

“Foam Fractionation and Ozone in Modern Aquaculture Systems: Valuable Tools for Clear Water Production and Farm Management

Recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) for farming finfish is a technology that offers the necessary biosecurity and water quality control, as well as waste management. Modern closed recirculating systems can operate far away from the natural water source and a water consumption of less than 1% of the system volume per day. High-tech systems such as the oceanloop technology ( allow the land-based production of fish species of high commercial interest and value, close to the consumer. This technology [10] represents the cutting edge of science and technology. The discharge of nutrients and organic matter can be well controlled. The technology is environmentally sound and supports the sustainability of aquatic food production. Key words: Aquaculture, Foam Fractionation, Ozone

Conclusions The re-use of water is inevitable in modern aquaculture production systems. The use of biological water treatments, combined with a foam fractionation process, enhanced with ozone are crucial. Farm managers can profit from clear water production in terms of increasing both, mean stocking density without affecting fish welfare, and survival rate due to an optimization of water quality.”

Oxidation Technologies brings precision control to customized ozone production.

Iron In Your Water? Ozone Can Help.

Rusty stains. A sure sign of iron in your water.

High iron content in water often results in disagreeable metallic taste and unappealing color in cooked vegetables. Although not a health threat, iron bacteria thrive in this water and contribute to biofilm and discoloration. Dissolved iron eventually leads to ugly stains on fixtures and clogged pipes. Removing iron from your water supply is well worth the investment.

The most common piece of water treatment equipment for homeowners is the water softener. Your water softener is designed to remove calcium from the water. It may remove some of the iron, but iron is prone to stick to the resin bed and is difficult to flush out.

An iron filter is a much more effective method for removing iron. There are a variety of filter systems, but they all follow the two step process of oxidizing the iron and then filtering it out. Iron that is dissolved in water can’t be filtered out until it is oxidized or made into larger rust particles that are large enough to be filtered.

Simply aerating water containing dissolved iron will begin the oxidation process needed for filtration. This method is simple, but can introduce some new problems such as increased bacteria growth. It is also slower and difficult to control effectively.  

Some compact home iron filtration devices contain media which accelerates the oxidization process and also serves as a filter to remove the oxidized particles. Like a water softener, these systems require periodic back flushing and eventually require chemical regeneration. The effectiveness of these systems is dependent on PH levels and do not disinfect the water. Iron bacteria can still cause problems by leaving ugly stains on water fixtures.

Adding a chemical feed pump to introduce chlorine, calcium hypochlorite or potassium permanganate increases the oxidation. These systems are able to remove higher iron levels and also serve to disinfect the water. The disadvantage is the ongoing cost of dangerous chemicals.

Ozone is one of the most powerful oxidants. Using ozone to oxidize iron before filtration not only quickly oxidizes all the iron, it oxidizes magnesium and Sulfur compounds as well. Ozone also provides complete disinfection and leaves no chemical residue.  “Ozone can be very effective at treating well water for residential, commercial, or agricultural applications.” Ozone is powerful and requires robust, well-designed equipment to harness its power. Our CWS Ozone Water Filtration System will provide years of service.

Ozone has been used for water treatment for over a hundred hears. It is used extensively for bottled water treatment because it is an effective disinfectant and improves taste and color. Oxidation Technologies specializes in harnessing the power of ozone for a variety of water treatment needs.