Ozone, a powerful antioxidant, is produced when oxygen (O2) molecules are dissociated by an energy source into oxygen atoms and subsequently form an unstable gas, ozone (O3). Most wastewater treatment plants generate ozone by imposing a high voltage alternating current across a dielectric discharge gap that contains an oxygen-bearing gas. Ozone is generated onsite because it is unstable and decomposes to elemental oxygen in a short time after generation. Ozone is a very strong oxidant and virucide.
- Direct oxidation/destruction of the cell wall with leakage of cellular constituents outside of the cell
- Reactions with radical by-products of ozone decomposition
- Damage to the constituents of the nucleic acids (purines and pyrimidines)
- Breakage of carbon-nitrogen bonds leading to depolymerisation