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Applications of Ozone

As mentioned in the previous section, ozone, on account of its powerful oxidising properties, exerts a marked bactericidal effect. It is frequently employed, therefore, for improving the atmosphere of buildings that are liable to be crowded, for underground passages, and for the stations and tunnels of electric tube railways. In these cases great care has to be taken that the concentration of the ozone shall always be well under the danger limit.

As is usual in the case of odoriferous disinfectants, there is always a danger of confusing disinfectant or bactericidal action with the mere masking of an unpleasant smell, and the actual value of the ozone treatment for " stuffy " atmospheres is easily over-estimated.

The bactericidal action of ozone has also been applied to the sterilisation of water and the preservation of foodstuffs.

The oxidising properties of ozone have led to the application of this gas to the bleaching of such substances as starch, flour, oils, and wax, delicate fabrics, etc. It has been used in the production of artificial silk and synthetic camphor. It has also been used to aid the "ageing " or maturing of wines, spirits, and tobacco. The action of ozone on unsaturated organic compounds provides a very convenient general method for the preparation of aldehydes and ketones, which has already been applied to the manufacture of vanillin for flavouring purposes and heliotropin for perfumery.

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