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What is ozone?

Ozone is a molecule that is made up of three atoms of oxygen. It is important to note that by having three oxygen atoms; it is in an unstable condition unlike diatomic allotrope. Ozone is a very important gas; when on upper atmosphere, it has very many benefits top of which is protecting the earth from the harmful effects of the sun’s electromagnetic radiation. However, you will acknowledge that the gas is a harmful pollutant when in lower atmosphere. It has adverse effects on animal’s respiratory systems as well as sensitive plants. It is important to note that the gas is present all over the atmosphere, but in very low concentration. This is definitely not harmful. In fact, the gas has numerous applications in the consumer products as well as the industries. Apart from the natural ozone in the stratosphere, the gas can also be manufactured using ozone generators.

 

Ozone’s physical properties

 

Ozone, whose molecular formula is O3, is blue in colour. It incorporates a boiling point of -112 degrees centigrade. At this temperature, the gas would condense to form a dark blue liquid.

 

One thing that you will appreciate about the gas is that it will dissolve partially in water at the atmospheric pressure. Note also, that the gas is thirty times more soluble in water at standard temperature and pressure than oxygen.

 

In addition, the gas is has a 2.07 Volt oxidation potential. This is the one property which makes the gas one of water treatment’s strongest oxidizers.

 

It would be important to note that when the gas is mixed with oxygen, it would be explosive whether in gases or fluids if its concentration were more than twenty percent. This does not happen with commercial generators of the gas, as ozone is a bit difficult to produce.

 

The stability of the gas is actually less when in water solutions than in air. In fact, the gas has a half-life of 20 minutes in water as compared to 12 hours in air. It would be important to acknowledge that its solubility will depend on the temperatures of the water. Ozone is actually less soluble in water than in other non-polar solvents which are inert. These include fluorocarbons or carbon tetrachloride where it dissolves to form blue solutions. The solution should however not be allowed to get warm or reach its boiling point. This is because liquid ozone or gaseous ozone that has high concentrations is explosive and can detonate.

 

As pertaining to the density of the gas, it weighs 2.144 grams per litre.

 

When in air, ozone incorporates a particular sharp odour which resembles bleaches made of chlorine. It is therefore detectable depending on its concentration in the air. It would be important to note that at such high concentrations, the gas would cause headaches, respiratory passages irritation as well as burning of eyes. In addition, it would be important to acknowledge that even when the gas is in low concentrations, it would have detrimental effects on animal lungs, plastics and latex materials.

 

Generally, ozone is found in the part of the stratosphere called the ozone layer. In this layer, the gas is produced from the reaction of oxygen with the ultraviolet rays. However, in the current times it can be produced in many industries.

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