Ozone is a Powerful Disinfection and Odor Treatment

By Cole Barnett, (ASU Bio-Engineering Student & AZ-BIO Fall 2020 Intern)


Ozone is best-known for the vital role it plays in our atmosphere. It helps filter harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays coming from the sun before they ever get the chance to reach the earth and cause skin cancer or other harmful diseases in humans. But at Joe’s AZ-Bio, it is one of our most powerful and versatile cleaning tools.

Ozone is a highly reactive gas that is pale blue in color and has a distinctly sharp odor.

Ozone is made up of three oxygen atoms (O3) bonded together, whereas regular oxygen gas is only two oxygen atoms (O2).

The triple oxygen arrangement is highly unstable, and this makes ozone one of the most powerful oxidizers known to man, which means it is able to react with, and pull the electrons from, almost any other molecule (“Ozone”).

This property makes the molecule similar to bleach in how it works to react with and to directly kill viruses, bacteria, molds, and even odors. In fact, ozone is so powerful at disinfection and odor elimination that it is one of the key components in wastewater treatment.

Research has even shown how ozone…

… can be used in the food industry to disinfect vegetables in a more safe and effective manner than even bleach since bleach can release potentially harmful chlorine compounds into the environment while ozone simply decomposes into non-toxic oxygen gas.

These characteristics make ozone an extremely powerful disinfection and odor treatment tool that is safer and more effective than even the most powerful cleaners like bleach.

Its most advantageous feature, however, is that as a gas, it can fill spaces and treat all the hard-to-clean places such as the cracks, crevices, carpet, fabrics, walls, ceiling, and even the air itself.

Since ozone is highly reactive, it is naturally a very short-lived substance. This makes it extremely difficult to store and impossible to bring with us to contaminated sites. Instead, we use UV ozone generators to produce ozone on site.

Other techniques to generate ozone do exist, including the corona discharge method in which two high voltage plates cause electricity to arc through the air and produce ozone.

While this method is capable of creating concentrations up to 6% and is used in industrial settings to produce high quantities of ozone, it would be more expensive, more dangerous, and less practical for us to implement in our industry.

Our UV machines essentially work…

…by having a fan circulate air from the room through several channels which are lined with powerful UV lights.

This concentrated high-energy light hits the oxygen (O2) molecules in the air and splits them up into single oxygen atoms (O).

These atoms then find and attach to different oxygen molecules, creating ozone (O3).

Thus, the overall chemical reaction for this process is given by the following chemical equation:

This process is essentially the same way that ozone is produced in the earth’s atmosphere from the sun’s UV rays. This technique for creating ozone can produce concentrations up to 0.5%, which may not sound like a lot, but this is equivalent to 5000ppm.

And since this molecule is so reactive and effective at disinfecting, this concentration is sufficient to completely disinfect and deodorize most spaces within a couple days without any risk of harming any fabrics or materials inside the space.

This concentration is however capable of doing significant damage to the lungs, and this is why only our trained technicians should ever enter a space undergoing ozone treatment.

After treatment is terminated, the remaining ozone is aired out of the room and quickly decomposes back into regular oxygen gas, leaving no toxic byproducts.



Anubis SceneClean Inc. “How Do Ozone Machines Eliminate Foul Odors?” AnubisCleaning.com, 15 May 2018, 

Dry Effect Restoration Services. “Do Ozone Generators Really Work?” DryEffect.com

Lillard, Susan. “How Ozone Affects Bacteria, Fungus, Molds And Viruses.” Mold-Help.org, Mold-Help Organization, 3 October 2004

Montecalvo, Joseph, and Doug Williams. “Application of Ozonation in Sanitizing Vegetable Process Washwaters.” California Polytechnic State University, May 2008, 

Office of Water. “Wastewater Technology Fact Sheet Ozone Disinfection.” epa.gov, United States Environmental Protection Agency, September 1999

“Ozone.” Wikipedia.org, Wikimedia Foundation, Inc, 

“What is Ozone?epa.gov, United States Environmental Protection Agency


We have written many articles on Biohazard Cleanup Blogs 


Ozone is a Powerful Disinfection and Odor Treatment


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