Ozone was discovered in the 1800′s. It is commonly referred to as active oxygen or trioxygen. It is one of the most powerful oxidants known and is several thousand times faster than chlorine. Ozone cannot be stored. Therefore, it must be manufactured on site using special equipment. The molecular symbol is O3.
The equipment used to generate ozone is called a corona discharge cell. This device creates a high voltage arc within the cell. As air passes through the cell it splits the O2 molecules into two O atoms. These free O atoms attach to unsplit O2 molecules forming O3 (ozone). The third O atom has a loose bond and is therefore very unstable. When the ozone comes in contact with organic material, it gives up the third atom to oxidize the organic material. After the reaction (release of the O atom), the ozone reverts back to O2.