stated that oxygen is the only gas that will pick up and carry
electrical energy. In doing so, it becomes tremendously active
and seeks to combine with all other substances. The list of substances
that are inert to ozone is very short, and includes glass, Teflon,
Kynar, Viton, Lexan, and silicone. Therefore any ozone generator
and auxiliary equipment must be composed of these substances only.
There are several different techniques used to produce medical
grade ozone, where freedom from contamination is critical.
One type of generator uses an ultraviolet lamp as its source.
It produces a very small amount of ozone with a narrow frequency
bandwidth of ultraviolet light. This method is suited to air purification,
because in that bandwidth, UV only reacts with oxygen, but it
is too weak for medical purposes. Also, the UV lamp degrades over
time and eventually burns out.
The second method of ozone production is corona discharge, where
a tube with a hot or cold cathode is surrounded by a metal anode.
Sometimes it is called cold corona or silent discharge. The best
ones are called dual dielectric, because they have a layer of
glass separating each component from the gas stream. This prevents
contamination of the ozone, but due to the current draw to the
metal, they are prone to electrical arcing and burnout. This produces
generators that have short lives. If any water enters the tube,
it immediately burns out.
In addition, corona discharge generators make a lot of heat and
must have large cooling fans to prevent them from overheating.
You can always tell a corona discharge generator by the large
Lack of durability has always beset corona discharge ozone generators,
and was a major reason for doctors mostly abandoning ozone therapy
in the US during the Forties, in the face of increasing pressure
from the FDA and the AMA. The manufacturers of these generators
show that they know of their limitations by offering only three-year
Fortunately, there is a third method of producing clean, medical
grade ozone. That method is called cold plasma. It uses glass
rods filled with noble gases, excited by high voltage. The voltage
jumps between the rods, forming an electrostatic plasma field
which turns the oxygen into ozone. Since there is no appreciable
current, there is no arcing or burnout. Thus the generator will
last a very long time, limited only by the quality of the transformer.
The original cold plasma generators were invented by Nikola Tesla
in the 1920s and they still work 80 years later.
Many companies claim to have cold plasma generators, but examination
always shows they use a metal anode, which makes them corona discharge,
dependent on current, and prone to failure.
"Man who say it
cannot be done should not interrupt man doing it."
- Chinese Proverb
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