Ozone Detection

Ozone Detection

Ozone

Ozone (O3) is a triatomic molecule consisting of three oxygen atoms. It is an allotrope of oxygen that is much less stable than the diatomic O2. Ground-level ozone is an air pollutant with harmful effects on the respiratory systems of animals.
 
The ozone layer in the upper atmosphere filters potentially damaging ultraviolet light from reaching the Earth's surface. O3 is also present in low concentrations throughout the Earth's atmosphere and has many industrial and consumer applications.
 
Ozone has a distinct sharp odour somewhat resembling chlorine bleach. It is detectable to humans from around 0.01 ppm. Exposure to 0.11 ppm produces headaches, burning eyes, and irritation to the respiratory passages. Even low concentrations of ozone in air are highly destructive to the lungs and to other organic materials such as latex and plastics.
 
Ozone Characteristics
Synonyms Trioxygen
CAS No. 10028-15-6
Chemical formula O3
Vapour density 1.66 (air = 1)
Safe Work Australia ES TWA 0.1 ppm (peak limitation)
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Flammable limits LEL ---
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Temperature classification ---
Chemical/physical properties Ozone is a bluish gas at room temperature with a pungent odour usually detectable by smell at around 0.05 ppm.
In chemical jargon it is called an allotrope, which is another form of the element oxygen (chemical symbol O) with a different molecular structure (O3 c.f. O2). Ozone is an even more powerful oxidising agent than oxygen.
Hazardous properties Despite its similarity to O2, O3 is extremely toxic and very unstable.
At very low concentrations it is an irritant, causing respiratory distress and with severe exposure leading to pulmonary oedema, haemorrhage and even death.
Occurrence/Uses Ozone occurs naturally in the upper atmosphere where it is produced by the solar irradiation of oxygen, forming the ‘ozone layer’ that protects the Earth from excess UV radiation. It is also found in the lower atmosphere as a pollutant in the vicinity of high voltage electrical discharges, UV radiation, X-rays, arc welding etc. and contributes to photochemical smog.
Industrially, ozone can be used to purify water, control microbes in the food industry and as a bleaching agent for textiles, paper, wax etc.
Detectors available Electrochemical (0–1, 0–5 ppm)
Gas detector tube (0.025–500 ppm)
Suggested alarm levels Low: 0.05 ppm
High: 0.1 ppm
Notes  

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