How Does Ozone Remove Odor?

Posted by Jamie Hansmann on September 10, 2009 under Odor Removal | 3 Comments to Read

One common question that people have about using ozone is exactly how an ozone machine is able to remove odors from houses, cars, clothing, etc.  To help answer the question I figured it was worth a quick mention here.

Basically, ozone removes odor by destroying the molecules, bacteria, and spores that cause unpleasant smells.  Ozone (O3) is a highly reactive molecule and is very quick to chemically react with particles that it comes into contact with in the air and on surfaces.  The extra oxygen atom in the ozone attaches itself to other molecules, chemically changing their structure to create non-offensive molecules – eliminating the smell

How Ozone Breaks Down Odor

How Ozone Breaks Down Odor

When considering bacteria and spores the same process applies, with ozone attacking the outer shell of the cell causing it to break down.  When the outer shell degrades, the cell itself breaks apart and dies.

With this in mind, it makes sense that a situation with stronger odor (and more odor-causing  molecules or particles) requires more ozone to remove the smell  -  there needs to be enough ozone to react with all of the offensive molecules it encounters.  This requires either A) a longer ozone treatment  or B) higher concentrations of ozone (a larger ozone generator).  Check out this chart of common odors to see typical treatment times for common problems.

One common scenario involves people who have “tried everything” to get rid of a smell, but are still left with lingering scents that just don’t seem to go away.  One reason that ozone is effective in these situations is because, as a gas, ozone effectively “cleans” any place that air can go.  This includes air, walls, ceilings, ductwork, carpet fibers, gaps between floorboards, cracks in walls, and more.  Ozone is able to penetrate into these areas and destroy odors that it finds there.

So how does ozone get rid of smells?  It chemically breaks down odor-causing molecules in any area where air is allowed to flow.

  • Successful Deodorizing with Ozone : Ozone Journal said,

    [...] you need to remember is that ozone breaks down odor at a molecular level, so over the course of an ozone treatment you need to produce enough ozone [...]

  • Why Choose BioZone? | Ideal LifestyleIdeal Lifestyle said,

    [...] Ozone attacks the outer shell of bacteria, causing it to break down. When the outer shell degrades, the cell itself breaks apart and dies. Ozone Journal [...]

  • I, Cringely The nose knows - I, Cringely said,

    [...] Ozone is used to treat intense odors in vehicles and homes. A $1000 ozone machine can turn a smoking hotel room into a non-smoking room in an hour. Use a big enough ozone machine and use it long enough and it can kill outright things like mold, mildew and bacteria. But you don’t use an ozone machine without a reason which told me the seller probably knew the car was stinky and hoped the ozone would do the job. [...]

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