Researchers at Tel Aviv University carried out a study to show that ozone, which is widely known for its antibacterial and antiviral properties in water treatment, effectively sanitizes surfaces infected with the coronavirus. The coronavirus can be destroyed after short exposure to low concentrations of ozone.
Earlier studies have demonstrated that the virus lingers on aerosols and surfaces for between several hours and several days, depending on the nature of the surface and environmental conditions.
The research was led by Dr. Ines Zucker from the School of Mechanical Engineering at the Ivy and Eldar Fleischman Faculty of Engineering and the Porter School of the Environment and Earth Sciences at the Tel Aviv University.
For the research, Dr. Zucker partnered with Dr. Moshe Dessau from the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine at Bar Ilan University in Galilee and Dr. Yaal Lester from the Azrieli College in Jerusalem. They intended to investigate the feasibility of ozone for indoor inactivation of SARS-CoV-2.
The researchers demonstrated a high level of disinfection within minutes by ozone gas, even on surfaces not typically disinfected with manually applied liquid disinfectants. The study reported a statistical success rate of above 90 per cent.
“Gaseous ozone is generated from oxygen gas by electrical discharge. Now, for the first time, we have managed to prove that it is highly efficient in combating Coronavirus as well,” stated Dr. Zucker.
He added: “Its advantage over common disinfectants (such as alcohol and bleach) is its ability to disinfect objects and aerosols within a room, and not just exposed surfaces, rapidly and with no danger to public health.”
Dr. Zucker further speculated that ozone gas can be used to design disinfecting systems as the gas is relatively cheaper and easier to obtain.
The preliminary findings of the study were published in the Journal: Environmental Chemistry Letters.