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Author Topic: How might an ozone-smell arise in parkland?  (Read 15668 times)

david clements

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How might an ozone-smell arise in parkland?
« on: 20/07/2009 14:30:03 »
david clements  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
My Brother in Bristol UK. tells me that while walking in a very large parkland  he frequently notices a strong ozone smell, its always in exactly the same places, seems to be confined to a narrow area, and in a perfectly straight line for as far as he can follow it. There are no electrical storms or industry in the greater area.

Hope you can shed some light on this natural phenomenon?

David Clements

What do you think?


 

Offline RD

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How might an ozone-smell arise in parkland?
« Reply #1 on: 20/07/2009 17:09:12 »
According to BBC weatherman Bill Giles (OBE) ...
Quote
Ozone is a colourless odourless poisonous gas (so at the sea-side it is not the ozone you smell but more likely rotting seaweed!).
http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/features/az/alphabet45.shtml


Dr Karl on the subject of sea-side "ozone" ...
Quote
But the smell at the seaside is not even ozone. It's a very different chemical called dimethyl sulphide, or DMS.

DMS is a clear inflammable liquid under 38oC, but can exist as a gas at lower temperatures. It has some industrial uses - from enhancing corn flavours in food, to refining petrol. It is also one of the main odours in black truffles (which are delicious underground fungi), but it rapidly fades upon exposure to air.
http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2007/06/27/1963637.htm

Maybe your brother has found black truffles ! ...

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The Black truffle or Black Périgord Truffle (Tuber melanosporum) is named after the Périgord region in France and grows exclusively with oak.... Black truffles on these markets sell between €200 and 600 per kilogram (USD$130–$380 per pound), depending on the quantity and quality of the harvest.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truffle_%28fungi%29#Black_truffle
« Last Edit: 20/07/2009 17:17:36 by RD »
 

Offline Bored chemist

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How might an ozone-smell arise in parkland?
« Reply #2 on: 20/07/2009 18:35:31 »
The BBC ought to know better. Not only does ozone smell, that's the property it is named after (from the Greek word Ozein  which I can't find the right character set for at the moment).

However, most people don't know what ozone smells like so I wonder if your borther has mistaken some other odour for ozone. DMS is one possibillity.
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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How might an ozone-smell arise in parkland?
« Reply #3 on: 21/07/2009 07:05:52 »
Maybe someone was making it at the park and though ozone was a drug.
 

Offline Horseradish_5000

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How might an ozone-smell arise in parkland?
« Reply #4 on: 21/07/2009 17:56:25 »
Isn't Ozone the smell that comes from a photocopier?
 
 

Offline Bored chemist

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How might an ozone-smell arise in parkland?
« Reply #5 on: 21/07/2009 20:07:58 »
It's part of the smell from a photocopier.
 

Offline RD

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How might an ozone-smell arise in parkland?
« Reply #6 on: 22/07/2009 13:34:59 »
I've heard it said that smell produced by an electric arc (spark), (e.g. electric motor brushes), is ozone,
 but isn't this smell actually nitric acid (vapour) made from the nitrogen and water in the air ?.
« Last Edit: 22/07/2009 13:40:08 by RD »
 

Offline Pumblechook

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How might an ozone-smell arise in parkland?
« Reply #7 on: 22/07/2009 18:02:52 »
Many many websites state that ozone is odourless.??

NASA Goddard (on one site) claim the spark smell is ionisation of air or oxygen??  The process of creating ozone. Ozone itself is odourless ???

Other sites claim that the smell is nitric oxide and in fact electrical sparks can be used to produce nitric acid.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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How might an ozone-smell arise in parkland?
« Reply #8 on: 22/07/2009 19:42:18 »
Many many websites state that ozone is odourless.??

NASA Goddard (on one site) claim the spark smell is ionisation of air or oxygen??  The process of creating ozone. Ozone itself is odourless ???

Other sites claim that the smell is nitric oxide and in fact electrical sparks can be used to produce nitric acid.

Many websites claim that inteligent design is a scientific theory; many more claim that they can make your knob grow.
The web isn't peer reviewed.
Ozone deffinitely smells.
It can't be oxygen, which is there all the time.
It can't be NOx because ozone produced from pure oxygen smells the same as that made from air (and NOx smells different anyway).
It can't be ionisation because the smell hangs round but ions in air are generally short lived.
 

Offline Pumblechook

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How might an ozone-smell arise in parkland?
« Reply #9 on: 22/07/2009 22:28:06 »
The problem with that is that the websites are by such as the American NOAA and many other weather and environmental agencies.

I am confused on this one. 
 

Offline Bored chemist

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How might an ozone-smell arise in parkland?
« Reply #10 on: 23/07/2009 06:57:02 »
My guess is that one site wrote it and the rest copied.
You have seen my evidence; what's theirs? Can you provide a link?
 

Offline Databit

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How might an ozone-smell arise in parkland?
« Reply #11 on: 23/07/2009 15:59:21 »
Ozone, or the effect of ozone does indeed have a smell.  It can be detected after a thunderstorm or from one of those Sharper Image air ionizers.  The most common cause of ozone creation is electrical current being applied to oxygen (O2) and thus allowing an extra oxygen atom to join the group (O3)
While it may or may not be the ozone that you are smelling in these situations, there is a smell that is related to ozone, possibly from effect the ozone has on surrounding air or particulates.
 

Offline Pumblechook

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How might an ozone-smell arise in parkland?
« Reply #12 on: 23/07/2009 16:07:44 »
Can't find that one again but here is one from University of California.   "Ozone is an odorless, colorless gas"  in the Introduction.

 http://www.ucei.berkeley.edu/PDF/csemwp185.pdf

Plenty of other sites from such as the American EPA say the same thing.

I will have to ask the son of the lady next door. He will know.  

 

Offline Bored chemist

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How might an ozone-smell arise in parkland?
« Reply #13 on: 23/07/2009 19:34:56 »
I accept that plenty of sites may say that it's odourless.
It's just that my experience, the experience of the person who named it, the experience of the person who started this thread and that of many who have been near a photocopier shows that the stuff does smell and those sites are wrong

BTW, it's not due to ionisation either; flames produce ionisation but they don't smell of ozone.
 

Offline RD

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How might an ozone-smell arise in parkland?
« Reply #14 on: 23/07/2009 19:47:57 »
According to Qi "ozone smells faintly of geraniums" ...
« Last Edit: 24/07/2009 23:51:23 by RD »
 

Offline Pumblechook

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How might an ozone-smell arise in parkland?
« Reply #15 on: 23/07/2009 20:36:26 »
I am not convinced either way.

 

Offline Chemistry4me

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How might an ozone-smell arise in parkland?
« Reply #16 on: 24/07/2009 04:44:00 »
Dr Chris can ask the fellows at the Royal Society of Chemistry when he does the next podcast!
 

Offline Bored chemist

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How might an ozone-smell arise in parkland?
« Reply #17 on: 24/07/2009 07:05:04 »
I am not convinced either way.


What would it take?
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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How might an ozone-smell arise in parkland?
« Reply #18 on: 24/07/2009 07:34:51 »
Some ozone I guess?
 

Offline Pumblechook

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How might an ozone-smell arise in parkland?
« Reply #19 on: 24/07/2009 21:23:17 »
A small amount of ozone I suppose.

I will ask my neighbour's son when I see him.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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How might an ozone-smell arise in parkland?
« Reply #20 on: 25/07/2009 18:38:08 »
So, you will believe your neighbour's son but not this guy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Friedrich_Sch%C3%B6nbein
Why?
 

Offline RD

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How might an ozone-smell arise in parkland?
« Reply #21 on: 25/07/2009 22:08:28 »
Give Jilly Goulden a wiff of ozone and ask her to describe it  :) (@ 1:28) ...
 

Offline Pumblechook

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How might an ozone-smell arise in parkland?
« Reply #22 on: 26/07/2009 09:58:17 »
My neighbour's son.

Professor of Atmospheric Science
BA Physics (Cambridge) 1976, PhD Atmospheric Physics (Oxford) 1982

---measure profiles of ozone---


http://www.seaes.manchester.ac.uk/aboutus/staff/staffprofile.php?id=123
 

Offline Bored chemist

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How might an ozone-smell arise in parkland?
« Reply #23 on: 26/07/2009 10:28:27 »
He wouldn't be measuring ozone if someone hadn't discovered it.

The stuff was only discovered because of its smell. It is named after the fact that it smells.
How could it not smell?
 

Offline Bored chemist

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How might an ozone-smell arise in parkland?
« Reply #24 on: 29/07/2009 18:59:37 »

"Is it really bad for our health?"
Only if we breath it in. As long as it's in the stratospher it's very beneficial to our health.
 

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How might an ozone-smell arise in parkland?
« Reply #24 on: 29/07/2009 18:59:37 »

 

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