Ozone Explained

Oxygen hates to be alone so it teams up with another oxygen atom and forms the O2 molecule that we all breathe. Next, we add sunlight. Sunlight has three types of Ultraviolet light called A (low energy), B (moderate energy), and C (high energy). A and B are why sun lotions are big business. When UV-C rays meet up with O2 molecules, they get absorbed and the oxygen splits into 2 single atoms of oxygen. Because oxygen hates being alone it hooks up with another oxygen atom if it is available or an O2 molecule to form O3 which is ozone. The oxygen ménage-de-trois gets rather hot (literally) but it does not last long because along comes a ray of UV-B light that breaks apart the ozone leaving a new O2 molecule and a single oxygen atom in need of a mate or another oxygen pair. This molecular orgy has been going on since the beginning of time and is quite balanced. It protects us from UV radiation. But when chlorine-based refrigerants from leaky and discarded HVAC systems, cars, and refrigerators reach the stratosphere, they begin to mess with the system. The chlorine atom breaks ozone up by stealing an oxygen atom and then gives it up to another singular oxygen atom to form a happy oxygen couple. Once it does that, it is free to attack another ozone molecule. By the time it is eaten up by another substance in the air it can destroy up to 100,000 ozone molecules. This is the main reason why we should use only qualified HVAC technicians trained in the handling of chlorine-based refrigerants that will be in use for several years until their phase-out is complete.

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