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Reaction products of ozone: a review.

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  • Economics
  • Physics


The reaction products of ozone that form during the oxidation of compounds found in aqueous media are reviewed. Reaction products of ozone are well documented only for a limited number of substrates, and mechanistic information is quite rare. Decomposition of ozone during its reactions, sometimes induced by matrix impurities or by the by-products of the reactions, will generate highly reactive hydroxyl radicals. Thus, even reactions occurring at pH less than 7 may have radical character. More complete destruction of organic substrates may be enhanced by using catalysts, such as ultraviolet radiation or hydrogen peroxide, to accelerate radical formation. However, complete mineralization is generally not practical economically, so partially oxidized by-products can be expected under typical treatment conditions. Ozone by-products tend to be oxygenated compounds that are usually, but not always, more biodegradable and less toxic than xenobiotic precursors. Of particular interest are hydroperoxide by-products, which may have escaped detection because of their lability, and unsaturated aldehydes. Inorganic by-products tend to be in high oxidation states, which in some cases (e.g., some metallic elements) may lead to enhanced removal by flocculation and sedimentation. In other cases oxidation may lead to formation of reactive species such as hypobromous acid from bromide ion or permanganate from manganous ion. In general, more research is required before a valid assessment of the risks of ozone by-products can be made.


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