OZONE

What is Ozone

Ozone O3, is a highly reactive gas, that is composed out of three oxygen atoms.

Ozone is both a natural and a man-made product that occurs in the Earth's upper and lower atmospheres called the Stratosphere and the Troposphere.

Stratospheric ozone: is formed naturally through the interaction of (UV) radiation (solar ultraviolet) with molecular oxygen (O2). Oxygen(O2) moves and changes in a cycle, just as there is a cycle of water. Whilst the O2 molecules then interact with the UV radiation creating upper atmosphere Ozone O3

Tropospheric or ground-level ozone: what we breathe – is formed primarily from photochemical reactions between two major classes of air pollutants, volatile organic compounds (VOC) and nitrogen oxides (NOx).

The "ozone layer it self, is

 approximately 6 through 30 miles above the Earth's surface. It pretty much blends into and sits between the upper and lower atmosphere levels and helps to reduces the amount of harmful UV radiation reaching the Earth's surface.

The entire process of ozone production starts on the ground level where Oxygen is released during the photosynthesis process of land plants (such as shrubs, flowers and trees) and ocean phytoplankton (mostly unicellular diatoms), as well as lightning, which rises up in the atmosphere, first through the Troposphere rising into the Stratosphere about 25-30 miles above the earth. At this atmospheric level the oxygen (O2) is energized by a the ultraviolet spectrum of the sun, leading to ozone(O3) production.

Because Ozone is heavier than air it begins to descend. Ozone immediately attaches itself to airborne particles if it contacts them, oxidizing them, and thus cleaning the air. If it encounters water vapor, Ozone can attach itself to it, forming hydrogen peroxide. Through natural processes, both rain and snow contain hydrogen peroxide. This is why plants grow better from rainwater than from irrigation as it contains the added hydrogen peroxide element and benefits the plant.

Although some stratospheric ozone is transported into the troposphere, and some VOC and NOx occur naturally, the majority of ground-level ozone is the result of reactions of man-made VOC and NOx. Significant sources of VOC are chemical plants, gasoline pumps, oil-based paints, autobody shops, and print shops. Nitrogen oxides result primarily from high temperature combustion. Significant sources are power plants, industrial furnaces and boilers, and motor vehicles.

Ozone Definition:

Ozone (/ˈoʊzoʊn/), or trioxygen, is an inorganic molecule with the chemical formula O
3
. It is a pale blue gas with a distinctively pungent smell. It is an allotrope of oxygen that is much less stable than the diatomic allotrope O
2, breaking down in the lower atmosphere to O
2 (dioxygen). Ozone is formed from dioxygen by the action of ultraviolet (UV) light and electrical discharges within the Earth's atmosphere. It is present in very low concentrations throughout the latter, with its highest concentration high in the ozone layer of the stratosphere, which absorbs most of the Sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

Ozone's odour is reminiscent of chlorine, and detectable by many people at concentrations of as little as 0.1 ppm in air. Ozone's O3 structure was determined in 1865. The molecule was later proven to have a bent structure and to be diamagnetic. In standard conditions, ozone is a pale blue gas that condenses at progressively cryogenic temperatures to a dark blue liquid and finally a violet-black solid. Ozone's instability with regard to more common dioxygen is such that both concentrated gas and liquid ozone may decompose explosively at elevated temperatures or fast warming to the boiling point.[5] It is therefore used commercially only in low concentrations.

Ozone is a powerful oxidant (far more so than dioxygen) and has many industrial and consumer applications related to oxidation. This same high oxidizing potential, however, causes ozone to damage mucous and respiratory tissues in animals, and also tissues in plants, above concentrations of about 0.1 ppm. While this makes ozone a potent respiratory hazard and pollutant near ground level, a higher concentration in the ozone layer (from two to eight ppm) is beneficial, preventing damaging UV light from reaching the Earth's surface…

>