Researchers from Tel Aviv University, Bar Ilan University, and Azrieli College have demonstrated that ozone can effectively be used to disinfect surfaces which have been contaminated with the COVID-19 virus, SARS-CoV-2.
Ozone is a strong oxidant and disinfectant, often employed in water and wastewater treatment schemes. Within the study framework, the research team decided to adapt the mechanisms whereby ozone is used to break down organic pollutants from contaminated waters and demonstrated the efficacy of ozone in neutralizing SARS-CoV-2.
Ozone gas is generated by electrical discharge (the breakdown of chemical compounds into their elements using electric current), in the course of which oxygen molecules are reconstructed in the form of ozone molecules. In the course of their study, the researchers demonstrated that gaseous Ozone disinfected surfaces, even in hard-to-reach locations. A high level of disinfection was achieved within minutes, even on surfaces not typically disinfected with manually-applied liquid disinfectants.
The method involves inexpensive and readily available technologies, which could be utilized to disinfect hospitals, schools, offices, hotels, and even aircraft and entertainment halls.
The researchers say that since the gas can be produced relatively cheaply and easily, it should be possible to introduce ozone disinfecting systems on an industrial scale to combat the COVID-19 outbreak.