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Despite the significant benefits of pool chlorine in their capacity to kill hazardous bacteria, it is evident that some of the side effects can be disadvantageous. The general smell of chlorine can be overwhelmingly unpleasant, and the agent can irritate the skin and eyes. It is also has the capability to bleach some fabrics, potentially damaging clothing. Most significantly, excessive air pockets of chlorine gas that surround pools can be hazardous for peoples' health and possibly even be carcinogenic. For these reasons, some industries have started to investigate new alternative methods to chlorine for sterilising pools. According to Smith and Monteath et al. (2006, pp. 1 - 37), 'some of these are good alternatives, but they do not achieve the cleanliness, oxidation levels or low price that chlorine provides'. One of the primary alternatives to chlorine in swimming pools is Bromine. Bromine is an extremely effective pool sanitiser, successfully killing harmful bacteria found in pools. The compound can only be added in one of two very specific methods - making it very expensive. As Missouri Department Of Health And Senior Services Section For Environmental Public Health, 2014 (p. 14, 15) describes; 'For pool sanitation, bromine compounds are sold in two solid forms - a two-part system that uses a bromide salt dissolved in water and activated by addition of a separate oxidizer; and a one-part stick or tablet that contains both bromine and an oxidizer and is dispensed by an erosion-type feeder.' Once the Bromine is in the pool, it reacts with the water to form hypobromous acid which further dissociates into hypobromite ions through the following equation; HOBr(aq) + H2O(l) H3O+(aq) + OBr-(aq) Figure 10: Dissociation of Hypobromous acid to form Hypobromite ions The use of Bromine is highly advantageous in that it is a very strong sanitiser, and works slightly differently to chlorine in the way it destroys pathogens and the like. While Chlorine sanitisers react with pathogens and other bacteria in a way that renders the chlorine ineffective afterwards, Bromine sanitisers are not affected. Hence it is possible for the Bromine to continue to sanitise the pool without reducing much of its concentration in that respect. Bromine is also very popular for its resistance to relatively high temperatures, making it ideal for spa water treatment as well. The aspect making it so popular in swimming pools is the efficacy of its primary by-product as well as its original form. When bromine reacts with organic substances such as ammonia, it forms bromamines - just as chlorine reacts with organic compounds to form chloramines. It is these chloramines in most swimming pools that are responsible for much of the difficulties chlorinated pools entail, producing an unpleasant smell and irritating people's eyes and skin (in fact it is often these chloramines that people often receive allergic reactions to) and being largely ineffective sanitisers. Bromamines however are quite the opposite, producing very little smell, having minimal impact on skin and eye irritation and retaining the efficacy of the bromine compound. These relatively beneficial factors portray Bromine as a significantly more efficient pool sanitiser. However, there are disadvantages to the use of this compound. While the sanitising agent of Bromine is extremely effective, the oxidising efficacy is very poor. Also, as mentioned previously, the method of initially introducing the bromine compound to the pool is complex and as a result, expensive. It is also a much heavier element than chlorine, meaning that twice as much bromine as chlorine is required to have the same impact. And to add to the expenses, despite bromines resistance to pathogens and organic substances and its ability to recycle or continue at the same efficiency, it is very susceptible to reduction by sunlight. With no 'sunscreen' agent as chlorine has, UV rays cause the concentration of bromine to decrease rapidly, thus requiring additions regularly. Each of these factors make the use of Bromine very costly despite its benefits. Another prevalent alternative to chlorine in swimming pools is ozone. While Chlorine was a very effective sanitiser and oxidiser, and bromine was a strong sanitiser but poor oxidiser, ozone is different again, as it is a very poor sanitiser, but what it lacks in sanitising capabilities it accommodates for in its oxidising ability. Ozone is a chemical compound consisting of three oxygen atoms which when reacted with bacteria and other material, dissociate into the more stable molecule, O2, and the third oxygen which oxidises the material. This compound is introduced into swimming pools via an ozone generator; 'a machine that attaches to the filtration plumbing line. It inserts ozone gas (an active form of oxygen) into the pool to react with impurities in the water' (Sturgeon, 2014). There are two primary types of ozone generators; Ultra Violet Light (UV) or Corona Discharge (CD) - electricity. Both methods do effectively the same thing (although sources suggest the CD method produces ozone at a greater rate); divide some of the oxygen molecules filtered through into oxygen atoms, and then recombine them to form O3 molecules (as is outlined in Figure 11 below). O2(g) + O(g) O3(g) Figure 11: The formation of ozone from oxygen via ozone generators Once the ozone is produced it simply requires to be distributed throughout the pool. This is done through a pressure system via a pipe delivering the ozone from the generator to the rest of the pool. A venturi (funnel like ending within the pipe) creates the pressure gradient and causes the ozone to be thoroughly mixed throughout the pool water. The advantages of this alternative are in the fact that it is an extremely efficient and effective oxidising agent, destroying all pathogens, bacteria and other organic compounds upon contact. Although ozone serves as an alternative to chlorine, it in fact works best when used in conjunction with reduced amounts of chlorine, as the minimal amounts of chlorine continue to help sanitise the pool and the ozone - being a strong oxidising agent - destroys all the harmful chloramines created as a result of the chlorines presence (in that way the pool receives the benefits of the chlorine without the damaging effects of the chloramines). Numerous sources have also commented on the appearance of the swimming pool water containing ozone, describing it as 'brighter, crisper looking water' (Poolnerd.com, 2014). Although the fact that the ozone is highly active can be very advantageous, it can also be inconvenient. The oxidising capability of the ozone, while effective, means that the ozone can only be used once - it cannot be recycled. In being extremely efficient, this unfortunately means that the ozone is consumed very quickly, so quickly in fact that in the time required for the ozone to diffuse throughout the pool, much of the ozone will have reacted already, resulting in a very unevenly distributed concentration of ozone. While the water closest to the pipes and inside the pipes themselves would be very clean, pockets of water furthest from the entrance point of the ozone would be least effected as none would survive to reach those areas. Overall, this means that although the ozone is extremely effective, it may in fact be too effective. It is also lacking in sanitising capabilities, hence still requiring minimal amounts of chlorine in the pool system. In conclusion, it can thus be recommended that the best alternative to Chlorine for use on maintaining swimming pool equilibriums would be Bromine, according to the fact that despite its expense, it provides greater benefits in comparison to ozone. While ozone is extremely effective, it would still require minimal amounts of chlorine to be realistic - while Bromine may not be quite as effective but can serve as a complete substitute to chlorine and still provide many benefits (although minimal amounts of chlorine as well as bromide can also be beneficial). Despite this recommendation, there are many swimming pools around the world currently using various alternatives to chlorine and doing so in a successful manner, so it would most likely depend on the pool owner's preferences as to how they best maintain their pool and their requirements in terms of finance and effort.
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An essay on Alternatives to Chlorine Swimming Pools
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An Essay On Alternatives To Chlorine Swimming Pools

Words: 1353    Pages: 5    Paragraphs: 9    Sentences: 53    Read Time: 04:55
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              Despite the significant benefits of pool chlorine in their capacity to kill hazardous bacteria, it is evident that some of the side effects can be disadvantageous. The general smell of chlorine can be overwhelmingly unpleasant, and the agent can irritate the skin and eyes. It is also has the capability to bleach some fabrics, potentially damaging clothing. Most significantly, excessive air pockets of chlorine gas that surround pools can be hazardous for peoples' health and possibly even be carcinogenic. For these reasons, some industries have started to investigate new alternative methods to chlorine for sterilising pools. According to Smith and Monteath et al. (2006, pp. 1 - 37), 'some of these are good alternatives, but they do not achieve the cleanliness, oxidation levels or low price that chlorine provides'.
             
              One of the primary alternatives to chlorine in swimming pools is Bromine. Bromine is an extremely effective pool sanitiser, successfully killing harmful bacteria found in pools. The compound can only be added in one of two very specific methods - making it very expensive. As Missouri Department Of Health And Senior Services Section For Environmental Public Health, 2014 (p. 14, 15) describes; 'For pool sanitation, bromine compounds are sold in two solid forms - a two-part system that uses a bromide salt dissolved in water and activated by addition of a separate oxidizer; and a one-part stick or tablet that contains both bromine and an oxidizer and is dispensed by an erosion-type feeder. ' Once the Bromine is in the pool, it reacts with the water to form hypobromous acid which further dissociates into hypobromite ions through the following equation;
             
              HOBr(aq) + H2O(l) H3O+(aq) + OBr-(aq)
             
              Figure 10: Dissociation of Hypobromous acid to form Hypobromite ions
             
              The use of Bromine is highly advantageous in that it is a very strong sanitiser, and works slightly differently to chlorine in the way it destroys pathogens and the like. While Chlorine sanitisers react with pathogens and other bacteria in a way that renders the chlorine ineffective afterwards, Bromine sanitisers are not affected. Hence it is possible for the Bromine to continue to sanitise the pool without reducing much of its concentration in that respect. Bromine is also very popular for its resistance to relatively high temperatures, making it ideal for spa water treatment as well. The aspect making it so popular in swimming pools is the efficacy of its primary by-product as well as its original form. When bromine reacts with organic substances such as ammonia, it forms bromamines - just as chlorine reacts with organic compounds to form chloramines. It is these chloramines in most swimming pools that are responsible for much of the difficulties chlorinated pools entail, producing an unpleasant smell and irritating people's eyes and skin (in fact it is often these chloramines that people often receive allergic reactions to) and being largely ineffective sanitisers. Bromamines however are quite the opposite, producing very little smell, having minimal impact on skin and eye irritation and retaining the efficacy of the bromine compound. These relatively beneficial factors portray Bromine as a significantly more efficient pool sanitiser.
             
              However, there are disadvantages to the use of this compound. While the sanitising agent of Bromine is extremely effective, the oxidising efficacy is very poor. Also, as mentioned previously, the method of initially introducing the bromine compound to the pool is complex and as a result, expensive. It is also a much heavier element than chlorine, meaning that twice as much bromine as chlorine is required to have the same impact. And to add to the expenses, despite bromines resistance to pathogens and organic substances and its ability to recycle or continue at the same efficiency, it is very susceptible to reduction by sunlight. With no 'sunscreen' agent as chlorine has, UV rays cause the concentration of bromine to decrease rapidly, thus requiring additions regularly. Each of these factors make the use of Bromine very costly despite its benefits.
             
              Another prevalent alternative to chlorine in swimming pools is ozone. While Chlorine was a very effective sanitiser and oxidiser, and bromine was a strong sanitiser but poor oxidiser, ozone is different again, as it is a very poor sanitiser, but what it lacks in sanitising capabilities it accommodates for in its oxidising ability. Ozone is a chemical compound consisting of three oxygen atoms which when reacted with bacteria and other material, dissociate into the more stable molecule, O2, and the third oxygen which oxidises the material. This compound is introduced into swimming pools via an ozone generator; 'a machine that attaches to the filtration plumbing line. It inserts ozone gas (an active form of oxygen) into the pool to react with impurities in the water' (Sturgeon, 2014). There are two primary types of ozone generators; Ultra Violet Light (UV) or Corona Discharge (CD) - electricity. Both methods do effectively the same thing (although sources suggest the CD method produces ozone at a greater rate); divide some of the oxygen molecules filtered through into oxygen atoms, and then recombine them to form O3 molecules (as is outlined in Figure 11 below).
             
              O2(g) + O(g) O3(g)
             
              Figure 11: The formation of ozone from oxygen via ozone generators
             
              Once the ozone is produced it simply requires to be distributed throughout the pool. This is done through a pressure system via a pipe delivering the ozone from the generator to the rest of the pool. A venturi (funnel like ending within the pipe) creates the pressure gradient and causes the ozone to be thoroughly mixed throughout the pool water.
             
              The advantages of this alternative are in the fact that it is an extremely efficient and effective oxidising agent, destroying all pathogens, bacteria and other organic compounds upon contact. Although ozone serves as an alternative to chlorine, it in fact works best when used in conjunction with reduced amounts of chlorine, as the minimal amounts of chlorine continue to help sanitise the pool and the ozone - being a strong oxidising agent - destroys all the harmful chloramines created as a result of the chlorines presence (in that way the pool receives the benefits of the chlorine without the damaging effects of the chloramines). Numerous sources have also commented on the appearance of the swimming pool water containing ozone, describing it as 'brighter, crisper looking water' (Poolnerd. com, 2014).
             
              Although the fact that the ozone is highly active can be very advantageous, it can also be inconvenient. The oxidising capability of the ozone, while effective, means that the ozone can only be used once - it cannot be recycled. In being extremely efficient, this unfortunately means that the ozone is consumed very quickly, so quickly in fact that in the time required for the ozone to diffuse throughout the pool, much of the ozone will have reacted already, resulting in a very unevenly distributed concentration of ozone. While the water closest to the pipes and inside the pipes themselves would be very clean, pockets of water furthest from the entrance point of the ozone would be least effected as none would survive to reach those areas. Overall, this means that although the ozone is extremely effective, it may in fact be too effective. It is also lacking in sanitising capabilities, hence still requiring minimal amounts of chlorine in the pool system.
             
              In conclusion, it can thus be recommended that the best alternative to Chlorine for use on maintaining swimming pool equilibriums would be Bromine, according to the fact that despite its expense, it provides greater benefits in comparison to ozone. While ozone is extremely effective, it would still require minimal amounts of chlorine to be realistic - while Bromine may not be quite as effective but can serve as a complete substitute to chlorine and still provide many benefits (although minimal amounts of chlorine as well as bromide can also be beneficial). Despite this recommendation, there are many swimming pools around the world currently using various alternatives to chlorine and doing so in a successful manner, so it would most likely depend on the pool owner's preferences as to how they best maintain their pool and their requirements in terms of finance and effort.
Swimming Essay 
Chemistry at Work. 2014. pp. 4 - 5.

Missouri Department Of Health And Senior Services Section For Environmental Public Health. 2014. Swimming Pool and Spa Water Chemistry. [e-book] Missouri: nitt.edu. p. 14, 15. Available through: nitt.edu

http://www.nitt.edu/home/students/facilitiesnservices/sportscenter/swimmingpool/Swim-pool-chemistry.pdf [Accessed: 30 Mar 2014].

Poolnerd.com. 2014. poolnerd >> Blog Archive >> Ozone: Should You Use It In Your Pool?. [online] Available at: http://poolnerd.com/2007/02/17/ozone-should-you-use-it-in-your-pool/ [Accessed: 30 Mar 2014].

Sturgeon, J. 2014. Swimming Pools: Alternatives to Chlorine. [online] Available at: http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/pools-spas/swimming-pools-alternatives-chlorine/#. [Accessed: 30 Mar 2014].
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