Corrosion from Ozone in Garbage Chutes

Using Ozone generators within garbage chutes, garbage compactors and garbage rooms has become the most common form of treatment for garbage odours and airborne pathogens.

However, there are some important considerations to be aware of when selecting the Ozone equipment for treatment in this area. Probably the most important aspect to consider when choosing an ozone generator is whether it uses ‘Corona Discharge’ or ‘Ultraviolet’ technology. These are the two most common types of Ozone generators on the market, and neither one is inherently better than the other, but they do have important strengths and weaknesses that make them most suitable for certain applications.

If you are just skimming this page, here’s the short version: Use only Ultraviolet Ozone systems in garbage applications (such as our proprietary Si-Zone® technology). Do NOT use Corona Discharge Ozone generators as they can create by-products which are highly corrosive to steel.

For the detailed orientated people, here is the expanded version:

Corona Discharge Ozone Generators

Corona-Discgarge-LightningCorona Discharge Ozone generators create Ozone by using an electrical spark to split Oxygen molecules – which simulates the way nature creates Ozone during a lightning storm. This method is great for certain applications but should be avoided for use in odour control where steel fittings are present (such as a garbage chute or compactor!). The reason for this, is that in addition to splitting Oxygen molecules the Corona Discharge processes will also split Nitrogen molecules (the ambient air is 78% Nitrogen), which creates a by-product called Nitrogen Oxide. When this Nitrogen Oxide comes into contact with moisture (such as humidity) it can create a corrosive substance called Nitric Acid. Below are some photos of garbage chutes in Australia which used this product type… Incidentally, the competitor who supplied these Ozone products knew of the damaging results for many (5+) years while they continued to sell the product! 


Ultraviolet Ozone Generators (Such as our Si-Zone® Technology)

UV-Ozone-LightThe second method of creating Ozone is by using a specific bandwidth of ultraviolet light (which is similar to how the suns UV rays sustain the Ozone layer in our atmosphere). When Ozone is created by Ultraviolet light, the Ozone generator does not split the Nitrogen molecules, therefore no Nitric Acid is created. There are a number of other benefits to UV Ozone generators for garbage odour control applications, such as; stable output regardless of humidity, and a more pleasant smelling Ozone (due to the absence of Nitrogen Oxide).

All of our Garbage Doctor® systems use our proprietary Si-Zone® ozone generating technology – which uses Ultraviolet light and is guaranteed to be free from Nitrogen Oxide/Nitric Acid corrosion.