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Ozone (O3) is an allotropic form of oxygen with three atoms in each molecule. Ozone is derived from a Greek word 'ozein', meaning 'to smell'.

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1.0 INTRODUCTION Ozone (O3) is an allotropic form of oxygen with three atoms in each molecule. Ozone is derived from a Greek word 'ozein', meaning 'to smell'. At standard temperature, ozone is pale blue, emits a strong odor and is very poisonous. However, ozone in liquid form is dark blue and strongly magnetic. Though it has three oxygen molecules, ozone does not have a triangular structure due to the spatial arrangement of its atoms where each oxygen atom only forms one bond, while the remaining negative charge is spread throughout the molecule (Stattersfield n.d.). Figure 1.1: Structure of ozone molecule 2.0 HIGH LEVEL OZONE 2.1 Background Almost 95% of the ozone is in the stratosphere, 15-30km from the Earth's surface. This ozone layer acts as a shield to protect the Earth's surface by absorbing harmful ultraviolet radiation. Its volume seldom exceeds 10 parts per million and is measured in Dobson units (DU). The ozone layer averages at 300DU, ranging from less than 100DU to more than 500DU globally (Green Nature 2004, Nebel 1987). Figure 2.1: The global concentration of ozone layer 2.2 Formation and destruction of ozone layer In the stratosphere, ozone molecules are very reactive and are constantly being formed and destroyed through reactions with ultraviolet (UV) ...read more.


UV radiation breaks them down into chlorine and hydrogen fluoride. These two products are primarily responsible in the destruction of ozone. The reactions of chlorine radicals are given as below: Cl + O3O2 + ClO (1) ClO + OCl + O2 (2) O + O2O3 (3) Unlike oxygen atoms, chlorine radicals react 1500 times faster with ozone. Cl atoms are regenerated in Reaction 2, hence they can go on destroying about 100,000 ozone molecules. Other than CFCs, chlorine can also be found in methyl chloroform and carbon tetrachloride. Bromine, another ozone-depleting substance which exists in halons and methyl bromide, plus aerosols from volcanic eruptions accelerate the depletion as they undergo the same processes as chlorine radicals (Green Nature 2003, Stattersfield n.d.). Figure 4.2: Sources that cause the depletion of the ozone layer 4.2 Health and environmental effects Ozone depletion allows larger amounts of UVB radiation to reach the earth with disastrous consequences. UVB is strongly linked to non-melanoma skin cancer, promote the development of malignant melanoma and also causes cataract. UVB also disrupts the physiological and developmental processes of plants, suppressing plant growth. Economical crops suffer fewer yields while aquatic food chains are affected too as the phytoplankton population, an important plant in the aquatic ecosystem, are destroyed by UVB. ...read more.


* Kills bacteria, mold and fungus more efficiently than chlorine, hypochlorous acid, hypochlorite or chloramine * The usage is ozone is convenient, easy and very popular as it also removes odor and taste Food production (food plant, restaurant, kitchens and canteens) * Ozone generators help in removing the gas, steam and other odors released during the preparation of food Table 6.2: The uses of ozone in various areas in the industrial sector Figure 6.1: A model of an ozone generator used to remove kitchen odors (Clark 2004, Lenntech 2005) 7.0 CONCLUSION Ozone can be beneficial and destructive simultaneously, depending on the atmospheric level that it is at. By itself, ozone is relatively safe, and human activities are the main factor behind any negative ozone-induced effects such as pollution and acid rain. The stratospheric ozone layer especially is essential in stabilizing the Earth; hence the problem of ozone depletion demands immediate attention. Fortunately, global co-operation was prompt, thus the issue is easily overcome as ozone-depleting substances are minor in the world's economy and have many ready alternatives. To conclude, ozone is not only vital for maintaining the ecosystem, but also has the potential to be further utilized in many areas for the benefit of mankind. (1485 words) ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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