Ozone Oxidation Potential

Oxidation is a chemical reaction where electrons are lost by atoms, ions or molecules and the reduction is the gain of electrons.

Despite the similarity of the name, oxidation reactions do not have to involve atoms or molecules of oxygen.

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ozone oxidation potential potencial oxidativo ozono oxidação

Oxidation, for non-chemicals, is commonly just burning or rusting. Depending on the time it takes:

Instantly – it’s a BLAST
Quickly – it is BURNING
Slowly – it is CORROSION

By acting on a molecular level, it is simply the OXIDATION or part of the oxidation-reduction process. It can occur in gaseous or solid states, as well as in liquids.

Oxidation potential, or redox potential, as is also known, is the measure of the tendency of a chemical species to acquire electrons and be reduced. Potential Oxidation is measured as a voltage. The greater the oxidation potential, the greater the tendency to be reduced and thus create an exchange of electrons with other chemical species.

SpeciesFormulaOxidation Potential, (eV)Notes




–  explosive in water

Hydroxyl Radical



– very short half life (nano-seconds)

– can be created using ozone, hydrogen peroxide & UV light

Nascent Oxygen



– rapidly combines with itself to form O2, or combines with an O2 molecule to form O3

– can be created via corona discharge & UV ozone generation




– excellent oxidizer in water or air

– reverts back to oxygen

– ideal for chemical synthesis & ozonolysis reactions

Hydrogen Peroxide



–  liquid application only

Hypochlorous Acid



– primary ingredient in toilet bowl cleaners

– can give off toxic chlorine gas




– very toxic & poisonous

– disagreeable odor

Hypobromous Acid



– considered a weak acid

– unstable

Chlorine Dioxide



– used primarily for bleaching pulp wood

[Source: Ullmann’s, 1991]

Oxidation Potential of Ozone

Ozone has one of the highest oxidation potentials, only smaller than the fluorine atom, the oxygen atom, and the hydroxyl radical. Some of the ozone reactions create the oxygen atom and the hydroxyl radical to create even greater oxidation potential than ozone alone.

Ozone oxidation is undoubtedly the most effective and ecologically correct water treatment process since ozone is a natural gas that decomposes into oxygen in a short period of time.

What makes ozone so effective is its high oxidation potential (2.07V), i.e. its potential to react with other substances. The ozone oxidation potential can be measured by the redox potential and by comparing, ozone is about five times more oxidant than oxygen and about twice as oxidizing as chlorine.

The effectiveness of ozone in eliminating/killing microorganisms such as fungi, bacteria and viruses has been scientifically proven.

In addition to killing microorganisms, ozone can be used to control taste, odor and color.

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