Molecular Structure of Ozone

Ozone is a gas made up of three (3) atoms of oxygen:

O + O + O = O3

Oxygen (we breathe) is made up of two (2) atoms of oxygen:

O + O = O2


The atoms in O2 are stable – each atom “holds on” to the other.

The atoms in O3 consist of a stable pair (O2) and a third, unstable atom.

It is the unstable atom that gives ozone its power!  Ozone is generated when energy “splits” the stable O2 bond.


This can occur three different ways:

  1. Naturally occurring

–Formed when lightning strikes

–Ozone layer formed by UV energy from the sun


  1. Man made (incidental)

–Welding, copy machines


  1. Man made (deliberate)

–Corona Discharge ozone generation

–UV ozone generation