Harnessing the Power of Ozone
In the pursuit of clean, safe and disinfected drinking water, ozonation has emerged as a powerful and effective disinfection method. With its ability to disinfect, oxidize, and remove a wide range of contaminants i.e. bacteria, protozoa, viruses and smell/odour. Ozone is revolutionising the field of water treatment. This article explores the understanding, processes of ozonation, its benefits, and its growing significance in ensuring the delivery of high-quality disinfected drinking water.
Ozonation involves the utilization of ozone (O3), a naturally occurring gas composed of three (3) oxygen atoms, as a powerful oxidizing agent. Ozone is generated by passing air or oxygen through a specialized generator, where electrical discharges or ultraviolet light initiate the conversion of oxygen molecules (O2) into ozone (O3) thereby in this state it has the ability to kill bacteria, viruses, protozoa, also has the capacity to eliminate odours.
The Four (4) Step Process of Ozone in Water Treatment:
- Ozone Generation: Ozone is produced by either corona discharge or ultraviolet irradiation methods. In corona discharge, electrical energy is used to break down oxygen molecules, resulting in the formation of ozone (O3). Ultraviolet irradiation exposes oxygen molecules to ultraviolet light, causing them to react and generate ozone.
- Contacting the Water: The generated ozone is then introduced into the water supply, typically through diffusers or injection systems. It rapidly dissolves and disperses throughout the water, coming into contact with various impurities and pathogens.
- Disinfection and Oxidation: Ozone acts as a powerful disinfectant, effectively inactivating a wide range of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. It also oxidizes organic and inorganic compounds, breaking them down into simpler and less harmful forms. Ozone’s oxidation capacity is particularly effective against taste and odour-causing compounds.
- Residual Decay: Unlike chlorine, which leaves a residual in the water, ozone (O3) decomposes into oxygen (O2) without leaving any taste or odour.
Benefits of Ozonation
- Strong Disinfection: Ozone is a potent disinfectant, up to 50 times more effective than chlorine, and rapidly inactivates various pathogens. Its broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity contributes to safer drinking water and reduces the risk of waterborne diseases.
- Enhanced Oxidation: Ozone effectively oxidizes a wide range of contaminants, including organic and inorganic compounds, reducing their concentration and improving water quality. This results in the removal of unpleasant tastes, odours, and colours from the water.
- No Harmful By-products: Unlike chlorine, ozone does not produce harmful disinfection by-products (DBPs) when it reacts with organic matter. This makes ozonation an environmentally friendly option, minimizing potential health risks associated with DBPs.
- Reduced Chemical Usage: Ozone treatment reduces reliance on traditional chemical disinfectants, such as chlorine, thereby minimizing the handling and storage of potentially hazardous chemicals.
- Versatile Applications: Ozonation can be applied to various water sources, including surface water, and groundwater. Its versatility makes it suitable for a wide range of water treatment applications, including drinking water treatment plants and industrial water treatment.
Ozonation has emerged as a game-changing water purification method, offering unparalleled disinfection and oxidation capabilities. With its ability to effectively inactivate pathogens, remove contaminants, and improve water quality, ozonation is indeed revolutionizing the field of water treatment. As concerns grow over emerging contaminants and the need for sustainable and safe water supplies, ozonation stands as a reliable and environmentally friendly solution. By harnessing and thereby using ozone, we can ensure the provision of clean and high-quality disinfected drinking water, contributing to the health and well-being of all communities worldwide.