How is ozone gas prepared in the lab?

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ncchemist eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ozone is basically the triatomic form of the element oxygen.  It is a gas with the formula O3.  It is a "bent" shaped molecule with one double bond and one single bond.  It is not a stable molecule and over time will decompose to regular molecular oxygen O2.  Because of this, ozone is not purchased from a supplier but is generated in a lab for direct use.

Ozone is produced in nature from O2 through both the effect of ultraviolet radiation from the Sun and from electricity through lightning.  In a laboratory setting, ozone is produced by a machine called an ozonizer.  It takes a cylinder of O2 and feeds it through a high voltage electrical current.  The electricity converts the O2 to O3 as shown below:

3O2 + electricity --> 2O3

The ozone that flows out of the ozonizer is then used directly in a chemical reaction.  The most common chemical reaction involving ozone is called ozonolysis.  It involves the oxidation and ultimate cleavage of a carbon carbon double bond.

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