Oxytherapy.com - OxyFile #608

Technical Aspects of Ozonation Equipment for Ozone Therapies
IOMA conference, San Antonio, TX, April 17-19th, 1998

Overview

  1. Ozone Applications
  2. Types (grades) & Sources of Oxygen
  3. Different Types of Ozone Producing Processes
  4. Ozone Flow & Concentration Puzzle
  5. Flow Requirements
  6. Concentration Requirements
  7. Material requirements for production of components for ozonation systems
  8. Over all design requirements for ozonation systems
  9. Design of attachments for ozonation systems
  10. My personal suggestions
  11. Ozone & Internet

1). Ozone Applications

I believe there are basically just four major categories of ozone applications:

It is important to understand that listed categories have countless number of variations and sub-categories and any attempt to list all of them is not in my reach. Actually, I believe with a current explosion of the interest in ozone the task of listing all ozone application is out of reach even of such organizations as IOA (International Ozone Association). Many new emerging companies are taking advantage of very unique properties of ozone and they develop new, cutting age technologies which we did not even dream of just a few years ago. Therefore it is not a coincidence that the Special Applications are perhaps the fastest growing category from our very simple ozone applications overview.

Therapeutic applications of ozone

Numerous articles has been written about bio-chemical processes triggered or/and enhanced by the exposure of human body to ozone. As a technician I do not have a sufficient knowledge or a mandate to make similar presentations. It is also not my goal. However I believe following partial list of main therapeutic ozone applications will provide a basic idea how wide is the spectrum of ozone applications we generally refer to as Ozone Therapies:

Very Invasive Internal Treatments:

Internal treatments:

External Treatments:

2). Types (grades) & Sources of Oxygen

Good source of the pure oxygen gas is the first step on the way towards the production of pure ozone gas which may be used for therapeutic applications.

Types (Grades) of oxygen
Most of the time the oxygen gas is divided just into two categories:

The reality is different. There are many more types of oxygen, however we are not going to explore all of them because their existence is completely irrelevant to applications I focus on at this Guide. Instead, we will focus just at two listed categories:

Medical grade oxygen
First at all I have to point out that not all oxygen used for therapeutic applications must be automatically the medical grade oxygen gas.

Good example of the medical application which does not usually use medical grade oxygen is the oxygen which is inhaled by patients with respiratory and other conditions requiring an additional supply of oxygen for breathing. Some health care facilities use oxygen separators (concentrators) for on-site production of oxygen (by separation from the air) for inhalations. These devices produce oxygen in various quantities, however oxygen produced by these devices very seldom reaches the purity of 95% and higher, therefore it can be hardly considered as medical grade oxygen.

In general, when talking about "Medical grade oxygen" we refer to oxygen gas with guaranteed purity of 99.9% and higher which can not be produced on-site and therefore it is distributed in special closed & pressurized oxygen vessels. The distribution of the medical oxygen gas is very strictly regulated in most countries as well as handling of the oxygen tanks, refill process and so on. All these regulations are aimed to guarantee that the purity of the medical oxygen and vessels in which the medical oxygen is stored and transported will not be compromised. Consequently, in many regions the availability of medical grade oxygen is very limited.

Technical grade oxygen (Welding oxygen)
does not have the same guaranteed purity as Medical oxygen. The distribution of the Technical grade oxygen is not a subject to same regulations as Medical oxygen. As a result the Technical oxygen is cheaper and far more available then the Medical oxygen.

At the same time it is important to point out that in many locations the transport and the storage of two (or more) separate grades of oxygen will represent an huge expense. In such locations the refill of medical and technical oxygen tanks will be drawn from the same source.

As a rule of thumb, if available - Medical oxygen should be used for all therapeutic applications of ozone

If there is a shortage of Medical oxygen, Technical oxygen may be used for Insufflations, inhalations, ozonation of water and all external ozone treatments.

Medical grade oxygen must be used always when MAHT, MiAHT, DI or any other very invasive internal treatments involving the direct exposure of the blood to ozone gas are administered. These treatments should be provided by well trained personal only.

Sources of oxygen
There are three basic sources of oxygen:

Devices for on-site production of oxygen
are called oxygen separators or oxygen concentrators. These devices are mostly in operation in hospital emergency rooms, home care centers or/and any other place where is the need for relatively large volume of oxygen and the purity of oxygen is not critical.

Most oxygen separators used for therapeutic applications have adjustable oxygen output and they can deliver up to 4-5 LPM (Liters Per Minute) of oxygen with purity in range of 90-95% and maximum pressure up to 7-10 p.s.i. This makes them an ideal source of oxygen for number of ozone treatments requiring larger oxygen flow for longer period of time - namely limb & body bagging, ozone steam sauna, inhalations, etc.

Pressurized oxygen
is distributed in pressurized vessels referred to as Oxygen Tanks, which come in huge variety of sizes. Of course, overall size of the oxygen tank will determine the volume of the oxygen gas stored inside the oxygen tank. Most oxygen tanks are made of steel (with inner protective lining) and their operation pressure is up to 2100-2300 p.s.i. Smaller, portable oxygen tanks which are used for applications where the weight of the tank plays an important factor (911,aircrafts,etc.), are mostly made of Aluminum. These tanks also have the inner lining and operate at the pressure up to 2100-2300 p.s.i.

Oxygen is usually released from oxygen tanks by Oxygen Flow Regulator. Not all Oxygen Flow Regulators available on the market are suitable for ozone therapies and not all regulators will fit all oxygen tanks.

CGA 870 Fitting Regulator

This drawing shows an example of the oxygen flow regulator with "medical" CGA 870 pin-index fitting. The regulator inlet has a reusable rubber and metal seal washer that requires only "fingertight seal" . CGA870 fitting is mostly used at small portable oxygen tanks made available by hospitals and health care centers to people with respiratory conditions. The use of CGA 870 style regulators and oxygen tanks with this type of fitting is very limited.

CGA 540 Fitting Regulator

This drawing shows an example of the oxygen flow regulator with standard industrial CGA 540 fitting. Vast majority of "medical oxygen tanks" and virtually all oxygen tanks containing technical (welding) oxygen have this style of fitting. Oxygen tanks with CGA 540 fitting are accepted for refill in vast majority of welding supply outlets.

Most oxygen tanks incorporated as an integral part of portable ozonation systems produced in North America use oxygen tanks of capacity ranging from 240 to 480 liters. Stationery systems use usually tanks of capacity 480 liters and larger.

Purity of the oxygen is a complex problem, because oxygen can be contaminated by other gases as well as foreigner substances in form of metal chips, lubricants, etc. Most oxygen flow regulators have built-in screens to filtrate out these impurities, however the user of the oxygen tank should not relay on these last resource safety guards. It is very important to find a reliable source of oxygen where stuff taking care of refilling the oxygen tank know their trade. Handling and the transportation of oxygen tanks should be also done with maximum caution in order to eliminate unnecessary risks.

All oxygen tanks should be empty when transported by aircraft.

3).Different Types of Ozone Producing Processes

Following is very simplified overview of most common types of ozone systems:

It is very important to understand that listed basic categories have many "sub-categories" and some newly developed ozonation systems use hybrid technologies when it is not possible to determine exactly to which "drawer" the new design belongs into.

UV systems
Advantages: Inexpensive to produce, simple to operate and service.

Disadvantages: The lowest ozone output from listed three types of ozone generators, ozone production can not be regulated independently (just by regulation of a feed gas flow), bulb deteriorates with time and must be replaced regularly (usually every 10,000 hours).

My personal evaluation: Can not and should not be used for ozone therapies


Cold Plasma
Advantages: Relatively inexpensive to produce, simple to operate and service. No replacements of the "bulb".

Disadvantages: Relatively low ozone output, ozone production can not be regulated independently (just by regulation of a feed gas flow).

My personal evaluation: Suitable for some forms of ozone therapy. See more details in the text to follow.


Corona Discharge
Advantages: Highest ozone output from listed three types of ozone generators, usually simple to operate and service. The biggest advantage is that ozone production can be regulated independently from the flow of the feed gas.

Disadvantages: Relatively expensive to produce. More demanding on a maintenance.

My personal evaluation: CD based ozonation systems are the most suited type of ozone producing process for ozone therapies. See more details in the following text.

To make whole situation more complicated Corona Discharge systems have two types of regulation with additional two "sub-variations" and each of these four systems (listed below) have their advantages and disadvantages:

a). VR - voltage regulation is done by regulation of the ozone output by the change of the high voltage applied to "plates". This can be done in two ways: 1). RR - rheostat regulation - regulation of the transformer feed voltage by rheostat
Advantage: Relatively simple
Disadvantage: usually very bulky and heavy due to a rheostat. Energy inefficient because rheostat produces heat

My personal evaluation: 4th from four "CD competitors"

2). MWR - Multiple Winding regulation - regulation of the voltage by switching between multiple winding on the transformer
Advantage: Relatively simple
Disadvantage: usually very bulky and heavy due to multiple winding of the transformer.

My personal evaluation: 3rd from four "CD competitors"

b). FR - frequency regulation - regulation of the ozone output by the change of the frequency of the high voltage discharge. This type of regulation is coming in two versions:

1). Medium Frequency (MFCD)- where the discharge is in range 60-1000Hz (60Hz is a frequency of the 110/120 voltage in North America, 50Hz is a frequency of 220 voltage in Europe)
Advantage: Simpler to design then High Frequency systems
Disadvantage: Lower ozone output then High Frequency systems

My personal evaluation: 2nd from four "CD competitors"

2). High Frequency (HFCD)- where the discharge is reaching frequency over 1000Hz
Advantage: The highest ozone output and the versatility in terms of the frequency based regulation of the ozone output from all listed systems
Disadvantage: The most complicated type from all listed systems.

My personal evaluation: 1st from four "CD competitors"

Let me just add a few more points related to HFCD system:

....this translates to a challenge. The designers and the producers of HFCD ozonation systems can gain a lot, however they also may loose a lot.

? But what about Cold Plasma ozone generators?
With new advances in the development and the production of semiconductors allowing designers to develop high frequency pulse power supplies, and significant improvements in production of ultra pure glass (used for example in fiber optics) more and more companies active in the field of the design and production of ozonation systems are selecting High Frequency Corona Discharge type ozone generators as the most promising design for their products. The situation on today's market already reflects the technological progress we have made since times of Nicholas Tesla, times when his Cold Plasma ozone generators where undoubtedly the most progressive design of its time. However, since then the humanity jumped 100 years forward....Cold Plasma ozone generators made their positive mark on the progress of ozone therapies, however I believe the future belongs to advanced Corona Discharge systems or new combination (hybrid) ozonation systems.

4). "Ozone Flow and Concentration Puzzle"

Every time when assessing the suitability of the ozonation system intended for ozone therapies attention should be focused at following criteria:

  1. Ozone output and the ability of the ozone generator to regulate ozone output
  2. Ozone resistance of materials used to construct the ozone generator and components of the ozonation system.
  3. Overall design of the ozone generator and of the complete ozonation system in terms of ability to fulfill performance and other requirements of the market
  4. Design of attachments for ozonation systems

1). Ozone output and the ability of the ozone generator to regulate ozone production is an area of special requirements where vast majority of ozone generators produced and sold for therapeutic applications are very likely to fail.

What should we understand under the term "Ozone output" is quite clear. It is the amount of ozone produced by ozone generators under different conditions. In general these conditions can be divided into two groups:

Condition of the surrounding environment:

Condition of the feed gas (oxygen):

The condition of the surrounding environment should be taken in consideration during the design process of the ozone generator very seriously, however their effect at actual usage of the instrument is very limited. Most ozone generators used for ozone therapy are operated in relatively stable environment with very limited changes of the pressure, temperature or relative humidity, however the end user of the ozone generator attempting to use the equipment in freezing cold, tropical temperatures or in the pressurized environment (for example HBO chamber) should be aware of differences these conditions will have at final ozone output of the ozone generator. Allow me very quickly highlight what changes can be expected:

Two out of three condition of the feed gas (oxygen pressure and oxygen temperature) can be also considered very stable, therefore they will also have very limited effect at ozone output. Oxygen pressure is determined by the oxygen flow regulator and by the method how ozone is applied. The temperature of the oxygen gas fed into the ozone generator is manly pre-determined by the temperature of the oxygen tank and surrounding environment. Third condition of the feed gas - oxygen / ozone flow rate deserves a special attention.

5). Oxygen / ozone Flow Rate

is one of two very important "interlocking" variables (flow rate & ozone concentration) everyone attempting to use ozone generator for therapeutic application must be familiar with and must fully understand.

In the "oxygen" section of this guide I was talking about oxygen separators, oxygen tanks and oxygen flow regulators. All these devices serve to one purpose only - to supply oxygen to the ozone generator. Oxygen can be delivered to ozone generator in different "speed" which I will from now on refer to as the Oxygen Flow Rate.

One more time:

Oxygen Flow Rate - is the "speed" in which oxygen is delivered (fed) to the ozone generator).

Flow Rate is usually discribed in fractional form or in decimal form. The relationship between fractional and decimal discription of the Flow Rate must be understud in order to prevet confusion later on.

LPM - liter(s) per minute
1 liter => 1000ml (milliliters) => 1000cc (cubic centimeters) 1 ml = 1cc

Fractional
[LPM]
Decimal
[ml/min]
Decimal
[cc/min]
Formula how to re-calculate
flow rate
1 /32 31 31 1000 / 32 => 31.25 => 31
1 /16 62 62 1000 / 16 => 62.50 => 62
1/8 125 125 1000 / 8 => 125
1/4 250 250 1000 / 4 => 250
1/2 500 500 1000 / 2 => 500
3/4 750 750 (1000 * 3 ) / 4 => 750
1 1000 1000 1000 / 1 => 1000

1/32, 1/16, 1/8, _, _, _, 1 LPM are flow rates used by flow regulators usually supplied with ozonation systems for ozone therapies produced in North America.

If I will state in the text that flow rate was 1/16LPM everyone should understand that I am referring to flow rate discharging 62 ml (cc) every minute.

To make it even more complicated - if I will write that flow rate was 1/32LPM for duration of 3 minutes everyone should understand:

Note: Measurement of volume is a very important process for all therapies. Measurements in terms of ounces, quarts, gallons are not used for these applications due to very limited precision of the measurement. Following table provides a guidelines how to convert standard US units to metric units:

US standard units Metric units
1 oz 29.573 ml
1 oz 0.029573 liter


1 quart 946.35 ml
1 quart 0.94635 liter


1 gallon 3785.4 ml
1 gallon 3.7854 liters


Metric units US standard units
1 ml 0.033814 oz


1 liter 33.814 oz
1 liter 1.0567 quarts
1 liter 0.26417 gallon

Webster's Desk Dictionary of the English Language / 1990 edition

6). Ozone Concentration

is an inseparable, "interlocking" partner of a Flow Rate we have to talk about in order to understand the importance of ozone output regulation.

Questions regarding ozone concentrations are very common as well as confusion what ozone concentration really means. Most of the time people think about ozone concentration as something very scientific and complicated. When presented with a simple example (chunk of ice floating in the bucket of water) they suddenly realize how simple it is. The ice is just a temporary form of water, as well as ozone is just a temporary form of oxygen.

Ozone concentration produced by ozonation systems used for different applications is measured and described differently. In field of ozone therapies the ozone concentration is usually measured and described in gamma, where:

1 gamma => 1 g/ml => 1mg/l => 1g/m3 because

1g => 1000mg
1mg = 1000 g

1 m3 => 1000 l
1 l => 1000 ml

Ozone concentration is also measured and described in some literature in following format:

ppm (parts per million)
1 gamma = 699 ppm
1ppm => 0.0014306 gamma

% of volume
1 gamma => 0.0466 volume %
1% => 21.4592 gamma

Most of the time ozone therapy protocols deal with ozone concentrations in range of 0 - 90 gamma. Converted to "ppm" and "volume %" that translates to:

0 - 62910 ppm (90 gamma x 699 ppm => 62,910 ppm)
0 - 4.2 volume % (90 gamma x 0.0466 volume % => 4.194 volume %)

I would like to stay with "volume %" for a little while longer, because this description of the ozone concentration shows us very clearly how potent ozone gas really is. When we talk about ozone concentration of 90 gamma we actually speak about the concentration 4.2 % of real ozone in the mixture of oxygen & ozone gas. That puts the meaning of "ozone gas" to a completely different perspective. Ozone is extremely reactive substance, therefore the creation of 100% concentrated ozone gas is not in technical abilities of our current technologies. There is also a question if we really need to develop technologies which will be able to produce this potent oxidant in such high concentrations. Just think about following:

Ozone output of standard GE60 ozone generator:
Variations of ozone output do not exceed 5% - if equipment is operated under (or close to) following conditions:
room temperature 20-23C / 68-74Fbarometric pressure 97-103 kPa



Ozone Concentration (*)
Flow
[LPM]
Flow
[cc/min]
Minimum (#1) Maximum (#10)
1/32 LPM 31 cc/min 12 g/ml 90 g/ml
1/16 62 cc/min 8 g/ml 76 g/ml
1/8 125 cc/min 5 g/ml 60 g/ml
1/4 250 cc/min 3 g/ml 38 g/ml
1/2 500 cc/min 2 g/ml 21 g/ml
3/4 LPM 750 cc/min 1 g/ml 13 g/ml
1 LPM 1000 cc/min 1 g/ml 11 g/ml

(*) Table above lists typical Maximum Ozone Concentrations produced by standard GE60 ozone generators with ozone output regulation setting #1& #10. Various Ozone Concentration produced with ozone concentrator regulator settings #2 -9 are not listed.

From the table above is clear that the Ozone Concentration drops down with higher oxygen flow. This gradual decrease of the ozone concentration produced by an ozone generator is due to shorter time of exposure of the oxygen to energy field creating ozone in the "ozone cell" located inside the ozone generator.

Higher flow rate => more oxygen must "rush" trough the ozone producing cell => shorter exposure to energy creating ozone => lower ozone concentration

and vise-versa:

Lower flow rate => smaller amount of oxygen must "rush" trough the ozone producing cell => longer exposure to energy creating ozone => higher ozone concentration

Some ozone generators (namely Cold Plasma systems) use the regulation of the oxygen flow to regulate ozone concentration. This type of regulation consequently brings problems due to limited selection of suitable flow rates which deliver suitable concentrations for ozone therapies. Users of ozonation systems with ozone output regulation based strictly at flow regulation are left in the cold when attempting to obtain relatively low ozone concentrations with very low flow.

Following graph is based on information we have drawn from books, articles, training seminars and the feedback we received from practitioners using our GE60 ozonation systems. This graph provides simplified overview of different types of ozone therapy treatments along with a basic description of flow and ozone concentration requirements for administration of these treatments. From this graph and the description of treatments is obvious there is very real need for wide variety of ozone concentrations delivered in wide variety of flow rates. Consequently, independent regulation of the ozone concentration produced by the ozone generator and independent regulation of the flow are basic requirements which should be taken in consideration when selecting ozonation system which will be used exclusively for ozone therapies.

Output Chart 1 Output Chart 2
Ozone Services, 1998

7). Materials Used to Construct Ozone Generators and Ozonation System

With the technological progress namely in the development and the production of new materials the family of so called ozone resistant materials is slowly, but steadily growing.

Before I will list ozone resistant materials I know about, we should try to understand what is the real meaning of the term "ozone resistant".

From my practical experience with ozone I can honestly say that most people active in ozone field would provide you with different definition of this term. Most definitions will be rather confusing and there is almost 100% guarantee that what ever definition I will present you with, this definition will be challenged as soon as I will make this Guide public.

As far as I see it, the problem with the definition of what is and what is not ozone resistant should be seen in the context of the application for which particular materials are used for.

Following is a very simple overview of different applications and the estimated range of concentrations of ozone gas used for these applications:


Estimated ozone concentration range
Application Description ppm g/ml [gamma] % - volume
Air Treatment 0 - 0.1 N/A N/A
Water Treatment
residential & light commercial
0 - 28,000 0 - 40 < 2% (*)
Ozone Therapies 0 - 63,000 0 - 90 < 5%
Water Treatment
commercial
0 - 210,000 0 - 300 < 15%
Special Applications 0 - ??? 0 - ??? 0 - ???

(*) To my knowledge there are very sophisticated systems in operation which reach ozone concentrations as high as 25%, however vast majority of applications (including commercial applications) operate in ozone concentration range 0 - 2%

As you can see the differences between applications are huge and huge will be also the differences in requirements for the ozone resistance of materials used to construct ozone generator, tubing connections, mixing chambers for water treatment on so on.

In order to reach some reasonable conclusion I started to divide ozone resistant materials into three groups:

8). Overall Design of Ozone Generators and Ozonation Systems

in terms of ability to fulfill performance and other requirements of the market should be seen as a mosaic of countless small fragments, each and every one representing single component or requirement - all neatly selected or designed & crafted and very carefully placed to their appropriate spot in the "big picture".

I already wrote earlier that most ozone generators are very likely fail to meet requirements for ozone output regulation. This significant design drawback is usually accompanied by an other design drawback in the form of layout of the equipment, assembly of parts or availability of components and information supplied with complete ozonation system.

Following is the list of most common problems with Ozonation Equipment marketed (and used) for ozone therapies:

9). Design of Attachments for O3 Systems

is as important as design of ozonation systems themselves. Availability of wide variety of attachments translates to wider range of use for ozonation equipment. Following is a very simple list of attachments used for ozonation systems:

10). My personal suggestions

to everyone shopping for ozonation system which will be used for personal or/and professional use are:

1). Do your homework first:

2). Contact the manufacture / distributor and ask:

Needless to say, people active in design and production of ozonation system...

Purchase of the ozonation system represents for most people a substantial investment. Therefore, the task of selecting the equipment and the supplier should be treated accordingly. I certainly hope that products developed, produced and distributed by Ozone Services and our associates will become your first choice in time when you will consider the purchase of the ozonation system. However it is more important for me personally, our company and for well being and the future of ozone therapies that practitioners as well as general public entering field of ozone therapies will be properly educated and consequently will demand that ozonation equipment which is currently produced and used for ozone therapies will meet higher standards and will be continuously improved.

The main goal of this presentation is not (and was not) to sell or to promote our products. The main goal of this presentation was to arm you with useful technical knowledge, to help you to become better informed and more demanding client.

11). Ozone & Internet

The use of ozone has very impressive history. Sometimes is ozone presented I the literature or in the direct contact with ozone proponents as a substance with almost magic properties. Needless to say, that nothing is farther from the truth - there is no magic. Ozone is an extremely potent oxidizing agent and people who use this substance should handle it with high degree of respect.

Magic ?

The reports about ozone in mass media are rather confusing. Some reports refer to ozone as a pollutant but at the same time we can hear and read that ozone has been successfully used to disinfect drinking water supplies for almost 100 years. Recently ozone was also introduced to public as a very powerful allay in food packaging industry where growing concerns about the spread of bacteria turned a lot of hair gray... At the same time the "roomers from the street" refer to ozone as an agent used in alternative therapies and we can also come across the information that ozone is blamed to be responsible for damage of faxes, CD-ROM drives, VCR's and a lot of other sensitive equipment...Amazingly, all these statements ARE, or CAN BE CONSIDERED true.

There is a lot we do not fully understand about the creation, circulation, reaction and decomposition of ozone in nature. There is even more what waits to be discovered in relationship to ozone as a therapeutic agent.

Many people I encountered in last a few years were searching for information and data related to ozone therapies and ozone in general. I would like to encourage everyone starting to investigate Oxygen & Ozone Therapies to take time necessary to review following web site: http://www.oxygentherapyexperts.com

Amadis, the person behind Oxygentherapyexperts.com invested a lot of time and effort into the development and maintenance of this extremely well organized and informative collection of information related to "Oxytherapies".

All sections of oxygentherapyexperts.com are interesting, however if I will be asked to select the most important sections I would choose:

Needless to say, you can take your search to new, interactive level and you can sign up for Oxy-mailing list - mailing list where participants do their best to listen, share, learn and support each other in very generous and tolerant fashion which makes me proud to be part of this group of oxy-friends for almost two years now.