How to Build an Ozone Generator

It's not only easy to learn how to build an ozone generator yourself but it's inexpensive as well.

Ozone is naturally present in our atmosphere outdoors. This colorless gas forms a layer that protects earth from the sun's harmful UV rays.

Scientists worry about the depletion or the ozone layer around the earth as the harmful UV rays are known to cause cancer and other damage to those of us living on the planet.

Many countries have joined a project called the Montreal Protocol which limits production of chemicals that might be damaging to the earth's precious ozone layer. On the surface of the planet, Ozone is produced naturally by lightning in a thunderstorm. This technology has been adapted for use in our homes as well.

Ozone is a natural deodorizer that can be beneficial to people. It can kill bacteria and lend a fresh smell to stale indoor air. However, over exposure to ozone can be dangerous and acceptable levels of ozone for indoor air are still being studied and tested.

Ozone generators are not as safe when used in areas with high humidity. The moisture in the air increases the air's reaction with the metals in an ozone generator and corrosion quickly results.

Negatively charged ions are the function of an ionizer and ozone is a resultant by-product of creating negative ions. Instructions for how to build and ozone generator are fairly simple and the total cost of materials should not exceed $30. One example is given below.

Materials Needed
  • 300v to 7500 v transformer
  • 1 small glass jar (pint sized)
  • 1 large glass jar (quart sized)
  • Aluminum foil, copper, brass, used razor blades (these can be scrap metal)
  • Aluminum window screen
  • Piece of wooden board to provide a platform for the transformer
  • Wire
  • High temperature glue gun
  • Alligator clips

How to Build an Ozone Generator

1. Put the metal scrap in the smaller jar. The base of the jar must be completely covered with the foil and any other metals used. Also add aluminum foil to cover the base of the larger glass jar.

2. Put the small jar inside the larger one and stick them together with glue. The purpose of the larger glass jar is to act as an insulator for the small jar.

3. Affix alligator clips to the end of the transformer lead. Transformers can be purchased at shops that sell neon sign materials. Attach a lead to the foil or metals inside the jar and the other lead is attached to the foil outside the jar. Do not allow the leads to cross or to contact each other.

4. Secure the transformer setup to the wood board to insulate the device and plug in your transformer.

How do You Know If Your Ozone Generator/Ionizer is Working?

You will hear a crackle noise when the generator is first plugged in. That is an indication the device is working as intended. In a darkened room, the generator will have a blue glow emanating from the jar. You will smell the ozone being produced.

If you see a yellow glow instead of a blue light, the glass of the jar may have broken and you may have to replace one or both of the jars. Before changing the jars or making any other adjustments, unplug the transformer from the electrical outlet.

Tips for How to Build an Ozone Generatorr

The easy way to use the metals required to build an ozone generator is to use plain aluminum foil. Fold a sheet of foil several times to fit into the small glass jar and you can easily cover the surface completely. Extend the foil up the sides of the jar about two inches.

If you use aluminum foil do the same folding to cover the bottom of the larger jar and extend the foil about 2" up the sides. The glass of the smaller jar will insulate the foil layers.

Use a wooden board that is about two feet square to provide a stable platform to mount your transformer. If you can't locate a transformer at a sign shop you can remove one from an old neon sign or buy a new one in a hobby shop.

Another option is to build an ozone generator using glass panes and brass or copper plate. The final design will have a more pleasing appearance perhaps but this is a more difficult project to successfully accomplish. Aluminum foil is not as reliable using glass panes and the copper or brass plate can be expensive to purchase.

If you are unsure an ozone generator is something you will use over the long term, it is better to build the simpler model using a small transformer, glass jars and aluminum foil.

Summary

It's easy to follow the instructions for how to build an ozone generator. For less than $30 you can build a unit that will last for years. You will need to replace the aluminum foil every three months to keep the unit working well.

An ozone generator is a great do-it-yourself project. If you want to test the use of an ionizing air purifier without the expense of buying a high end product, this is definitely a project you should try.

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