You may or may not have heard of ozonated water as a disinfectant. Ozonated water is water that has had ozone dissolved in it. This is interesting because water is H2O, meaning two Hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. Ozone is O3, an unstable gas made up of 3 oxygen atoms. When you treat water with ozone, you're basically just adding more oxygen to water (sort of). In reality, what you're doing when you introduce ozone into water is rapidly and safely purifying the water.
Ozone, or 03, is "active oxygen." It destroys harmful microorganisms immediately on contact. You may have heard of water treatment done with chemicals like chlorine. Well, ozone is better for water treatment because it works quickly while producing no toxic byproducts. Why, then, hasn't ozonated water caught on previously as a method for water treatment and surface disinfection? It's because the unstable gas, O3, quickly reverts to O2 after it is created.
You see, ozone is created naturally in our upper atmosphere, when solar radiation interacts with oxygen. This creates the "ozone layer" you've heard about, reducing the amount of harmful cosmic rays we receive here on Earth. (It's also why losing the "ozone layer" would result in harmful effects to humanity exposed to increased ultraviolet radiation). Ozone can also be created through manual, industrial processes.
Previously, these processes were expensive, complicated, and therefore cost-prohibitive. The ozone produced couldn't be used for ozonated water because the "ozone water" produced didn't last long enough. The ozone for the ozone water reverted to "ordinary" oxygen too quickly.
The result is that to create ozone water for water treatment, ozone therapy, or other benefits (such as simply to purify water), you have to create the ozonated water at the point of use. There now exists technology to create ozonated water that is cost-effective and which lasts long enough to use the ozone water as a disinfectant (and to purify water itself).
Ozonated water is now created through an electrolytic process. Electrolytic ozone generators can be used to decontaminate surfaces, disinfect food processing areas and equipment, sterilize dental and medical equipment, and purify water for drinking. There are no toxic byproducts, no harmful chemicals left over, and nothing but ozone water is created by treating water with ozone.
This "ozone therapy," this ozonation of water, does create oxygen when the 03 reverts to O2... but the benefits of ozonation mean ozonated water is environmentally sustainable. It's a clean, "green" solution for water treatment, surface disinfection, and food processing.
Electrolytic ozone generators for water treatment and surface disinfection are now available in multiple sizes. The ozone water produced can be used to decontaminate surfaces, sponges, laundry, distilling equipment, and even fresh produce itself. Depending on the scale of the ozone water treatment needed, some ozone generators are very small, personal units, while other ozone generators can purify large quantities (multiple gallons) of water at a time.
Ozonated water is a solution whose time has come. Never before in history has there been so much interest, and so much compelling need, for surface generation. There has always been a compelling need to purify water. The benefits of ozone therapy for disinfection cannot be denied. Ozone water is not just a means of purifying water to make it safe to drink; it's also a safe way to disinfect surfaces, food processing equipment, distilling equipment, medical equipment... and even fresh produce.
A disinfectant that produces no chemical byproducts, that is stronger than chlorine, that leaves nothing toxic behind, and which works quickly and powerfully is a dream come true. While previously it was cost prohibitive to use ozonated water for these purposes, that is no longer the case. Modern electrolytic processes for producing ozonated water are cost-effective and simple. Ozone generators can be had in whatever sizes needed, from personal for mobile water purification of found water, to more substantial needs to purify multiple gallons at once.
Electrolytic ozone generators have no moving parts. They use no toxic chemicals. They leave nothing harmful behind. Purifying water with ozone just makes sense. Most importantly, however, it's a safe and sustainable "green" solution. It is, in other words, the solution we need, one whose time has never been more appropriate. Ozonated water is safe and effective for all these processes. It's time we acknowledged that fact, and it's time we took advantage of this resource.