Often, we get asked how ozone oxidizes the air. With that being said, we believe it is imperative to discuss the specific scientific terms to understand the concept and present detailed steps to the process. Ozone is considered biocidal, which is defined as the action of killing harmful bacterial and biological contaminants. Because of its biocidal nature, viruses are not able to withstand the power of ozone. It occurs as a result of the double bonds of fatty acids in cell walls, membranes, and protein capsids. In viruses, the hindrance of the protein capsid prevents the spread of the virus from being consumed by vulnerable cells. Ozone punctures cell walls until it can no longer hold its original shape. In other words, the unstable electrons of ozone permeate through the membranes. The life of a microorganism becomes destroyed by ozone due to the fact that it needs to maintain its shape to remain alive. It destroys the cell walls of yeast and abnormal tissue cells by inactivating its enzymes. The strength of ozone is so strong that it can demonstrate hygienic action in seconds. Variables such as pH, concentration levels, temperature, humidity, specific organism, and time play a vital role in the kill rate of pathogens. Once applied to air, the ozone will attach to the pollutants in the airspace and consume them. From there, it will quickly bond back to oxygen. This particular factor separates ozone from any other oxidizer because it does not leave any harmful by-products or residues. Ozone is unique because it benefits by oxidizing natural organic compounds as well as inorganics. For example, ozone slows the ripening of fruits and vegetables by consuming ethylene gas and undesirable odors. Filters, ionizers, and sprays do not eliminate the root of the odor, whereas ozone accomplishes this task. Filters will catch the air that happens to pass through them. Ionizers put a negative charge on air particles in the air, which causes them to drop on room surfaces. Ozone, on the other hand, attacks the pollutant at its source and reverts back to its safe state.
References: United States Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Air and Radiation, EPA Report 402-k-00-002, March 2000