Low Cost Low Tech Ozone Bubbler

Clean water is becoming scarce and chlorine is a dangerous substance to be hauling around in the Third World. The dirty secret in water processing is that ozone works just as well as chlorine. How about coming up with a small handheld device which could sanitize small amounts of water using the local atmoshere by turning o2 into o3.  
I'm thinking aquarium pump to begin with.

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Qcks5 years ago
Kiteman's suggestion of using a clear 2 liter PET bottle is probably the quickest, surest way to sterilze water cheaply.

It's more UV based then anything else, but UV light does produce Ozone, so... it may not be completely inaccurate to say it's sterilized by Ozone to a certain degree, but it's more likely a combination of the anaerobic atmosphere of the bottle coupled with the UV light (an atmosphere which doesn't usually exist in nature).

PET bottles do have one serious problem when used as sterilization though: PET can leech plasticizers into water when exposed to UV light. It's part of the whole Bisphenol A debate that's going atm.

As for the Safety of Ozone, it's safer then chlorine gas, which may not be saying a whole lot. It does react quickly with many organic molecules so it's not like you're introducing a toxic pollutant that can't be easily removed.

Finally, rather then a straight Ozonation process, why not use Titanium Dioxide?
It's been shown to produce the same oxygen radicals as Ozone when it comes into contact with UV light. If you messed with it you could find a way to combine it's solid nature (it's most often sold as a powder) as a particulate filter and it's photo-catalytic properties.
A little bit of plastic leaching is likely not a worry in an emergency situation, the bottles are still considered safe for general usage, whereas contaminated water can cause immediate and serious problems.
It's like what we say about taking a swim in New York harbor, your eyes may burn and your skin may itch but the water's fine.
Oh we had a saying like that about the Lagan, a river we row on... Then Jake got septicaemia from an open blister...
fxxer5 years ago
Isn't contributing to the ozone just as bad as using chlorine? I think it takes energy and some machinery or electronics to produce ionized oxygen, don't know all the mechanics and logistics of it all but I think getting a few chlorine tablets to purify the water in a remote location seems to be a working viable solution.
http://manshealth.hostei.com
caitlinsdad5 years ago
Isn't contributing to the ozone just as bad as using chlorine? I think it takes energy and some machinery or electronics to produce ionized oxygen, don't know all the mechanics and logistics of it all but I think getting a few chlorine tablets to purify the water in a remote location seems to be a working viable solution.
Mud Stuffin (author)  caitlinsdad5 years ago
By the time O3 bubbles through the water, it will have turned into O2, releasing an oxygen free radical which is what does all the sterlizing. In fact O3 can remove excess trace metals from water by combining with them usually into an insoluable salt which preciptitates out.
Chlorine tablets are a lot nastier than the chlorination process itself, because you might as well start putting bleach in your drinking water.
I would not need any type of storage for ozone as it would be used as it was created in the device.
Along with ozone, a bubbler would also aerate water which is one step of the sanitizing process.
Kiteman5 years ago
No need for chlorine, ozone, or any chemical sterilisers. All you need is a plastic (PET) bottle!

Put your filtered-but-not-sterile water in a clean bottle, and stand in full sunshine for at least six hours.

The UV in the sunlight sterilises the water - if the heat of the sun also gets the water temperature over 50°C, sterilisation is three times faster.

SODIS.
FoolishSage5 years ago
Ozone is hardly a dirty secret. The properties of ozone are well known and often used (in the food and vegetable industry for example), For water purification Ozone is a long shot from being an ideal solution. Its effects are of short duration and generating Ozone is not simple and requires a significant power source. Transporting it is even less feasible than transporting chlorine.

A far more popular way to sterilise water in third world countries is UV from solar exposure. It requires no chemicals and no electricity which allows it to be done it even the most low tech location.

The main problem that chlorine, ozone and UV all share is that their effect is mostly to organic matter in the water. None reduce salinity, heavy metal content or contamination from things such as pesticides. These require further water treatment methods and are the largest barriers to clean water for the world.