2.5 Ozone Destruction Process

Ozone is susceptible to destruction from a number of elements including:

  •  Chlorine (Cl)
  •  Bromine (Br)
  •  Hydroxyl radicals (OH)
  •  Nitric oxide radicals (NO)

The ozone destruction process involves a catalytic reaction cycle where a chain of chemical reactions occur that include:

The destruction of ozone molecules while at the same time the original chlorine atom that started the cycle survives and continues the cycle of destruction.

As a result, a single atom of chlorine is capable of the destruction of hundreds of thousands of ozone molecules in its lifetime before it is neutralized.

Ozone depleting substances (ODS), such as CFCs, are very stable compounds and have a long atmospheric lifetime.

  •  CFC-11: 55 years
  •  CFC12: 140 years