Why use an O3 sensor?
Ozone gas (O3) is formed by the combination of three oxygen atoms. It is an unstable gas with a strong and irritating odor. Ozone is corrosive, a strong oxidant and very toxic and is therefore harmful to humans and other organisms. However in the upper atmosphere ozone serves as a shield which protects our planet from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation and is therefore essential to sustain life on earth.
Ground Level Ozone Gas Pollution
At ground level ‘bad’ ozone is a criteria pollutant that is a significant health risk, especially for people with asthma. It also damages crops, trees and other vegetation and a main component of smog. Ground level ozone is not emitted directly; it is created by chemical reactions between oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) in the presence of sunlight. Emissions from industrial facilities and electric utilities, vehicle exhaust, gasoline vapors, and chemical solvents are some of the major sources of NOx and VOC. Aeroqual makes fixed and portable monitoring instruments with an O3 sensor for the precise measurement of ground level ozone pollution.
Industrial Applications of Ozone
Because of its toxic properties and because it can be manufactured relatively inexpensively, ozone has found a range of industrial uses primarily as a disinfectant or sterilizing agent. It is used extensively in the food and beverage industry, water treatment, manufacturing, odor control, and sterilization in medical and domestic environments. Aeroqual make a range of monitors with an O3 sensor for the precise detection, measurement and control of industrial ozone.
Ozone in the Upper Atmosphere
Most ozone (about 90%) resides in a layer that begins between 6 and 10 miles (10 and 17 kilometers) above the Earth’s surface and extends up to about 30 miles (50 kilometers). This region of the atmosphere is called the stratosphere. The ozone in this region is commonly known as the ozone layer. Aeroqual does not make instruments for measurement of ozone in the stratosphere.