Can we find a way how to speed up the recovery of the ozone in the "ozone holes"?
Image credit: Photo by Antonino Visalli on Unsplash (https://unsplash.com/photos/4yqWYpNfDCU)
JuranOct 12, 2021
Can we think of a way how to potentiate production, increase the rate of recovery or manually refill the polar regions with less ozone (check the map below)?
Figure 1 Map of ozone (taken from on October, 12 2021)
The important premise
Since we successfully contributed and continue contributing to the destruction of ozone with different pollutants, can we now somehow shift the balance towards ozone production, specifically in the most "damaged" areas ("refill" the ozone holes)? Scientists say that the ozone layer will recover in the next few decades due to the reduced human usage of specific ozone-destroying compounds, but will that be soon enough? The effects of global warming are appearing more often and a sharp turn of ozone dynamic balance towards the production could be crucial, don't you think?
An ozone layer is a thick layer (30-50 km) of slightly increased concentrations of ozone in the atmosphere, capable of absorbing the UV-B radiation from the sun. A hole in the ozone layer is an area with slightly reduced ozone concentration, which consequently absorbs less UV-B and causes concerns . Ozone can be found higher in the stratosphere (naturally occurring) and troposphere (product of pollution). The "high" ozone is considered good because it protects us from UV-B radiation. The "low" ozone is thus considered bad since it causes harmful effects when people breathe it in. The concentration of ozone is dependant on the dynamic balance between production and destruction of ozone.
The production of ozone
Ozone can be artificially produced the same way as in nature - by splitting the O2 into two oxygen atoms by high-energy electron or UV light and colliding these single atoms with O2 (and a gas molecule taking the excess energy) to form O3 (Figure 2). This reaction occurs in the ozone generators, devices that purify air (remove scents and pollutants), water, decontaminate and sterilize rooms from germs.
Figure 2 The production of stratospheric ozone
Problems to be solved
Now when we know how to produce ozone, we have two problems left:
how to scale it up and make it energy efficient?
how to transport ozone to the stratosphere, where it is considered beneficial?
is there a technique/industry that has an ozone as a byproduct, which can then be used for this purpose?
can the ozone be transported in the stratosphere, or there is a way how it can be directly produced there in bigger quantities?
do you have any other suggestion that would help the faster "healing" of ozone holes?