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Ozone Technology: Superior and Sustainable Disinfection for the Beverage Industry

In the third part of our webinar series on the beverage industry, we looked at the benefits of innovative ozone technology for disinfection and sanitization across a range of water-based processes. Here, we discuss leading-edge applications and ozone advantages for a more sustainable operation.

Recently, we hosted the third installment of our four-part series of webinars on sustainable disinfection solutions within the beverage industry. The series generated some great discussions on the technology solutions available and their associated benefits. Here, we turn our attention to ozone technology applications, the opportunities and considerations for businesses, and answer some of the frequently asked questions.


How Does Ozone Disinfection Work?

Ozone is one of the most powerful commercially available oxidizing and disinfecting agents. Oxidation and disinfection occur when ozone comes into contact with substances, including microorganisms (viruses, molds, and bacteria), as well as organic and inorganic compounds (metal ions, plastics, and rubbers). Ozone gas, via the venturi injector method of mass transfer, mixes into the water stream creating a solution for disinfection or sanitization purposes. Post application it quickly decomposes back to oxygen in solution, leaving effectively no residuals in the waste or recirculation stream.


The Benefits of Ozone Disinfection

Within beverage industry processing plants, operators must manage risks to health and safety, like harmful bacteria and viruses, alongside environmental risks, maintenance costs and downtime risks. With efficient and effective disinfection critical to product safety and profitability, ozone has proven to be a popular choice.

Evoqua’s Pacific Ozone™ Generator systems can be used to create an aqueous ozone solution with higher oxidation potential than many other treatment options, including peracetic acid, hydrogen peroxide, hypochlorous acid, sodium hypochlorite and chlorine dioxide. In fact, sustainability results from a study of Evoqua customers highlighted numerous advantages like reduced annual water consumption, power consumption, process downtime, maintenance hours and product loss due to quality. So, not only is it cost-effective, but also far more sustainable than traditional solutions.


Ozone Disinfection Applications

Let’s take a quick look at how Evoqua’s ozone systems can be used within the beverage industry, starting with product water. The safety of product water is paramount, and experience has shown us that ozone provides a safe and simple disinfection that is highly effective in meeting regulations, while keeping ozone below minimum requirement levels while the gas is being sustainably generated on-site.

What about cleaning-in-place (CIP)? One case study highlighted that ozone was 85% less expensive than hot water sanitation when CIP was done five times per week, and 20% less expensive than weekly hot water sanitation.* Importantly, it also reduced process time out due to servicing by 67% compared to hot water disinfection and 83% compared to chemical disinfection.

When it comes to equipment and surfaces, ozone can be highly effective too. Any place where plants may be getting microbial hits – like belts, nozzles, fillers and bottle washers – can benefit from ozone treatment. For equipment and surface sanitization, ozonated solutions reduce water and energy consumption, minimize downtime and are simpler to integrate than other options.

Let’s take a look at some of the frequently asked questions.


Frequently Asked Questions


Q. What considerations should producers take to ensure disinfection requirements are met, where safety and quality are critical?

A. It all starts with the air preparation and what the feed gas is going to be into the system. We need clean, dry compressed air or oxygen being sent into the ozone generating cell. The next piece is the mass transfer system, we want to make sure that it is sufficiently dissolving the ozone gas, so that it is getting to the application point. Once you get everything dissolved and out to the application, there is control and monitoring to consider. The most efficient way do this in beverage applications is via venturi injection. Control and monitoring are key for optimal process management (dose and safety). Those aspects really need to be cared for throughout ozone equipment operation, which will then provide plant operators with valuable logged data and oversight. In other words, enhance process traceability and ideally integrate into the ozone skid design for optimal control and efficiency.

Depending on your application and how you are controlling it, you may have some off-gassing. This needs to be managed via decomposers, which is the best practice. Typically, we look at including a catalyst that converts the ozone back to oxygen as part of the tank’s ventilation system. Our ozone systems also have safety analyzers at the generator and usage points out in the facility.


Q. How is ozone enabling water optimization?

A. There are several opportunities in beverage plants for water reuse utilizing ozone systems. The possibility of treating the last rinsing water and reuse for the first flush, or using ozonated water as cold CIP, or even as a shorter step in three of five stage CIP, are the most common processes. The ability to recycle back the water to the beginning for reuse can save significant amounts of water consumption.


Q. What is the optimal water temperature for ozone water surface disinfection?

A. Ozone half-life and dissolution into water is affected by temperature. So, the cooler the water the better. Once you get to about 85 degrees Fahrenheit (30 °C) and hotter, it is going to be very hard to keep ozone dissolved and transported to the application point. Really, anything under this is fine, but lower is preferential.


Q. If ozone is used to disinfect water for bottling, should it be a critical control point in the HACCP?

A. In all applications, you are going to have these critical control points to monitor to ensure you are meeting disinfection requirements – so, yes. Typically, where you are applying it as a disinfectant and right before use.


Q. Is ozone in combination with UV an applicable solution for CIP?

A. We see that it is becoming more and more popular. For CIP, ozone offers time and energy benefits as the delivery water does not need to be heated. If you need to be completely sure that all ozone is removed from your fluid, UV is a fantastic answer to remove all excess ozone. And this combination is not only popular for the CIP process, but also, and mainly for, the production processes where product water needs to be stored for a certain period. To reduce the risk of microbiological contamination, a lower dose of ozone is added to the water, and to make sure all is removed before process, this water will flow through a UV system to remove any possible residual.

For more information, you can watch the webinar here. If you have any questions about Evoqua’s treatment systems or how they can enable your sustainability ambitions, please get in touch with Don Lanini at donald.lanini@evoqua.com or Jackie Schramm at jacqueline.schramm@evoqua.com



*Study results available upon request.


Evoqua Ozone Generation systems undergo factory acceptance testing to ensure they are capable of producing the desired ozone concentration, based on operational parameters outline in the Operating Manual. System performance of microorganism inactivation depends on the CT value, pH, and temperature of water. Performance limitations depend on feed conditions, overall installed system design, and operation and maintenance processes; please refer to Operations Manuals. For more information: Contactus@evoqua.com