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Ultraviolet lamps have been used for decades to generate ozone. This lamp emits UV light at 185 nanometers (nm). Light is measured on a scale called an electromagnetic spectrum and its increments are referred to as nanometers. Figure 1 represents an electromagnetic scale; note the location of higher-frequency ultraviolet light relative to visible light (the range of light perceptible by the human eye).

Visible Light Chart
Figure 1
Wavelengths in nm


Air (usually ambient) is passed over an ultraviolet lamp, which splits oxygen (O2) molecules in the gas. The resulting oxygen atoms (O-), seeking stability, attach to other oxygen molecules (O2), forming ozone (O3). The ozone is injected into the air stream, where it inactivates contaminants by actually rupturing the organisms' cell wall.

Corona MoleculeImage courtesy of Ozone Solutions



The technologies involved in corona discharge ozone generation are varied, but all operate fundamentally by passing dried, oxygen-containing gas through an electrical field. The electrical current causes the "split" in the oxygen molecules as described in the section on ultraviolet ozone generation. Past this common feature the variations are many, but the generally accepted technologies can be divided into three types - low frequency (50 to 100 Hz), medium frequency (100 to 1,000 Hz), and high frequency (1,000 + Hz). Since 85% to 95% of the electrical energy supplied to a corona discharge ozone generator produces heat, some method for heat removal is required. Also, proper cooling significantly affects the energy efficiency of the ozone generator, so most corona discharge systems utilize one or more of the following cooling methods: Air or water.



At the heart of a corona discharge ozone system is the dielectric. The electrical charge is diffused over this dielectric surface, creating an electrical field, or "corona".


Critical to CD ozone systems is proper air preparation. The gas feeding the ozone generator must be very dry (minimum -80 degrees F), because the presence of moisture affects ozone production and leads to the formation of trace nitric acid. Nitric acid is very corrosive to critical internal parts of a CD ozone generator, which can cause premature failure and will significantly increase the frequency of maintenance. The chart below shows that relative ozone output decreases as moisture content increases.
Corona Graph

Of the ozone technologies mentioned above, none has a clear advantage. However, to help narrow the field for a particular application, consider the amount of ozone required. You may find that low and medium frequency ozone systems will have prohibitively high initial costs for applications requiring less than ten lbs./day. However, they have a proven history of durability and reliability. High frequency ozone generators seem to have the best combination of cost efficiency and reliability for applications requiring less than ten lbs/day of ozone output.

  • Corona discharge ozone generators benefit from oxygen preparation thereby doubling the ozone output per given volume vs. dry air
  • Small construction allowing generator to be installed in virtually any area
  • Creates a more pure form of ozone without creating other harmful or irritating gases
  • Corona cell life can exceed ten years
  • Can create high quantities of ozone (up to 100-lbs/day)
  • Can be more cost-effective than UV-ozone generation

  • Environmentally Safe
  • Easier to clean - Less cleaning required
  • Zero Nitrogen Oxides
  • UV (ultraviolet) ozone production is not affected or diminished by humidity
  • Impossible to overdose



What Is Ozone?
What does Ozone do?
Ion Facts
What Is Ionization?


Virtually all particles in the air have a positive charge, while negative ions have a negative charge. In which case, negative ions and particles magnetically attract to one another. When there is a high enough concentration of negative ions in the air, they will attract to floating particles in large numbers. This causes the particle to become too heavy to remain airborne. As a result, the particle will fall out of the air, preventing it from being inhaled into the respiratory tract where it can trigger breathing and health problems.


What Is Ionization?


The ionized particle will then be collected by normal cleaning activities, such as vacuuming or dusting. If the particle happens to be kicked back up into the air again, it will be ionized, and quickly settled out of the air once again.

In nature, negative ions are generated by processes such as sunlight, lightning, waves from the ocean, and from waterfalls. "Concrete Jungles" minimize the natural production of negative ions by disrupting the delicate electrical balance between the atmosphere and the earth. Aqua Sun Ozone International recreates them with electrode pins ("needlepoints") to electrically produce negative ions. This method produces a density that is many times higher than the negative ion level found at Niagara Falls, the highest natural producer of negative ions and one of the healthiest environments in the world.


What Is Ozone?
What does Ozone do?
Corona Discharge vs. UV Ozone Generation



Ozone Facts Ultraviolet Light
Ozone is an unstable compound generated by the exposure of oxygen molecules to a high energy electrical discharge.

The weak bond holding ozone's third oxygen atom is what causes the molecule to be unstable and thus, very effective.

An oxidation reaction occurs upon any collision between an ozone molecule and a molecule of an oxidizable substance (i.e. bacteria, fungi (mold & yeast), viruses, forms of iron & manganese…)

The weak bond splits off leaving oxygen as a by-product. During an oxidation reaction, organic molecules are changed and dissolved metals are made no longer soluble.



What Is Ozone?
Ion Facts
Corona Discharge vs. UV Ozone Generation


What Is Ozone?

Ozone is made up of one thing: Oxygen.Ozone is also an oxidizer. Ozone in nature is that fresh, clean scent after a thunderstorm; it is nature's way of cleaning and sanitizing. Ozone as a sterilizing agent is the most powerful cleaning agent available today. 

The air in the stratosphere is continuously being bombarded with UV radiation from the sun. When high energy UV rays strike molecules of oxygen (O²), the oxygen is split; causing two single oxygen atoms (O¹). The free oxygen atoms (O¹) then combine with oxygen molecules (O²) to create ozone (O³).

Corona Discharge
When lighting strikes, the naturally occurring electric charge splits the oxygen molecule (O²) creating a single oxygen atom (O¹). Ozone (O³) is then formed in the same manner as with UV.

Brief Overview of How Ozone Works
When ozone (O³) comes in contact with a pathogen, such as an odor, bacteria or virus, the extra oxygen atom breaks off, attaching to the pathogen. Once the pathogen comes in contact with the ozone (O³) it is destroyed.


  • Ozone is 51% more effective against bacteria (E.Coli, Salmonella, etc.) than chlorine and other chemical sanitizers
  • Ozone kills toxic substances 3,000 times faster than chlorine
  • Ozone destroys pesticides and chemical residues; even chlorinated by-products
  • Kills viruses and bacteria (including E.Coli and Salmonella) on
    • seafood
    • shellfish
    • red meat
    • poultry
    • vegetables
    • fruits


  • Ozone extends the shelf life of food products
  • According to the Environmental Protection Agency, ozone is the most effective primary disinfectant available for drinking water
  • Ozone is environmentally friendly – Converts back to oxygen
  • Ozone is produced on site – no need for transporting, handling or storing hazardous materials
  • Ozone has been FDA approved for direct-food contact since 2001
  • Ozone is proven for Surface Sanitation
    • Cutting boards, knives, sinks and countertops for home use
    • Conveyers, cutting tables and preparation areas for commercial use

Additional Ozone Informative Links
Inhibition of E. coli in Ground Beef Patties with Ozone
Ozone Gas to Clean Produce
Many Applications for Ozone


What does Ozone do?
Ion Facts
Corona Discharge vs. UV Ozone Generation