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How to Build a Spark Coil Ozonator

By Frederick Von Lichtenow

It is a well-known fact that the electric discharge across an air-gap liberates "ozone" freely, and further, that the production of this ozone may he many times increased by allowing the discharge to pass between metal sheets, preferably tinfoil.

Making use of these facts, the simple "ozonator" - attachment here shown constitutes a practical piece of auxiliary apparatus for any spark coil of 1-inch rating or more.

Two oblong sheets of corrugated packing board of equal dimensions; two sheets of heavy tinfoil cut to approximately the same size, but slightly longer; two pieces of medium gage copper wire, a wooden or cardboard box (without cover), and a cone shaped tube of some material, other than metal, form the essential parts for its construction (Fig. 1).

An application of paste or shellac secures the tinfoil to the packing board, which merely serves as a support for the foil.

The foil extensions, due to its being longer, are pasted around over the exposed corrugations at either end of the packing board, ending with the back edge of the latter. The whole is then fastened to the wire by running the same thru the foil into one of the centermost corrugations, at the same time furnishing the necessary electrical contact between wire and foil (Fig. 2).

The distance between the foil sheets and their respective size are governed entirely by the rated spark length of the coil employed, with a proportionate amount of generated ozone as a consequence. They should, at any rate, be placed in a position parallel to one another (in the same plane) and at such a distance where a silent discharge (in reality there is a heavy "brush-discharge," consisting of a stream of violet-colored spark-threads passing between the foil sheets, which can be easily ascertained in a dimly-lighted room) manifests itself, allowing only an occasional spark to pass. (This distance is somewhere in the neighborhood of one-half of that of the spark discharge between needle points.)

The cone is secured to the box by being pushed thru the opening on top of the latter from the inside until it fits tight. Some friction tape is finally run over the seams of the box as well as around the joint of the latter, with the cone and the whole placed over the generating apparatus (Fig. 3).

The box should be only slightly wider than the top of the spark coil, just wide enough to allow air to pass thru, and there should be ample room inside of it to clear the foil sheets all around by several inches.

An important point is that the packing board be perfectly straight and the tinfoil applied smoothly, in order to insure uniform distribution of the electrical stress between the foil surfaces. Otherwise, the discharge will localize upon certain spots, resulting in a decreased ozone output.

The "ozonator" is used for air purifying, inhaling or experimental purposes in general.

If an "Electro-Bulldog" coil is available then a taller box will be required and the same slipt over the spark coil as well.

Semi-circular cuts on two sides for the passage of air and two small holes on one side of the box for the insertion of the primary wires are to be provided (Fig. 4).

The author has a zinc spark gap mounted across the coil secondaries, which is of a great advantage, in that it permits of a far finer adjustment of the sheet electrodes than could be possibly had by using the regulation style of binding post terminals.

Good results are obtained with both types of arrangements as outlined in the foregoing.

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