Could we use large scale ozone generators to replenish the growing Ozone holes?

Well could we? Does this technology exist? Could we set up huge ozone generating stations at the poles to inject ozone into the upper atmosphere?

Any environmental downside to generating ozone for this purpose?

The problem (as I understand it) is getting the ozone to the right place.

Natural ozone is produced in the stratosphere when ultraviolet sunlight strikes oxygen atoms (O[sub]2[/sub]), and breaks them up, so that they can recombine to form ozone (O[sub]3[/sub]). The problem occurs when manmade compounds gobble up the free oxygen atoms before they can form ozone.

Now, there is name for manmade ozone created at the surface of the earth: pollution. It’s unpleasant stuff. Not so good to breathe.

It’s not clear to me how one would go about piping it into the stratosphere. Can’t build a smokestake that high (10 km). Can’t just blow it real hard.

The easy way to reduce the hole in the ozone layer is to do what is already being done: restrict the production of compounds that gobble up those free oxygen atoms, and let the Sun do its thing.

Yeah, I would imagine that if the ozone-eating compounds were removed in areas that had holes/thin spots, that those areas would gradually recover (though I can’t imagine what the time scale would be like, it could be hundreds/thousands of years)

If we magically removed all the CFCs in the atmosphere then i think the ozone layer would recover pretty quickly - in a matter of a few years.

The problem occurs because CFCs take 30 years or so to reach the ozone. So it won’t be able to start to recover until 30 years after we stop emitting these chemicals.

The other problem with making ozone is that to make enough would take an immense amount of energy.
With full compliance with the Montreal Protocol, the ozone layer is expected to be back to normal by about 2050.


My understanding was that we have a hard time making ozone in the first place; that it’s unstable and you always get, um, whatever you call it with one more electron. So even if we didn’t have the “getting it up there” problem, we still would have problems doing it. Is my memory of high school chemistry seriously lacking, or am I mistaken, or what?