Nitrate In The Water

Have you ever prayed about something and were answered right away – like within minutes?  I don’t know about you but I talk to God and pray about stuff all of the time.  It’s normally a one way conversation.  This particular instance I was driving and asking God for guidance about a problem I was experiencing using ozone in water purification. 
You see, ozone is  three molecules of oxygen held together with an extra electron.  Oxygen, as you may know, is O2 but if you put an extra electron into the orbit of one of the atoms they stick together for a little while as O3 or ozone. I know I have lost most people right there but the practical part is we use ozone to clean water in a natural way using electricity and oxygen.  If you drink bottled water ozone has been used to kill germs.  Many swimming pools use ozone to kill bacteria in order to use less or no chlorine.  Ozone in the upper atmosphere is beneficial as it prevents harmful UV radiation from scorching us.  Ozone at ground level produced by vehicle exhaust and sunlight irritates the respiratory system.  However, ozone in water is not carcinogenic and is 10 times stronger than chlorine at killing pathogens.  It is a wonderful way to sanitize water.
We produce ozone for water purification with an electrical gas plasma which is like producing a lightning storm in a bottle.  When you pass oxygen through the electrical gas plasma (lightning in a bottle) you get ozone out.  The problem is a trace amount of air was getting into our ozone units.  The air we breath is not pure oxygen.  It is 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen with other trace gasses.  Our plasma units were splitting the triple nitrogen bonds and we were getting nitrate in the water.  That was the problem I was praying about.  I did not want nitrate in the water.  What was I thinking?
The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael PollanWhen driving I often listen to audio books and one of my favorite authors is a researching journalist, Michael Pollen.  He writes about food and the environment.  One of his books, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, explores how food comes to our table.  It has a section on modern synthetic fertilizer and Fritz Haber.
Synthetic fertilizer is made using the Haber Bosh method using unrenewable fossil fuels, extreme heat and pressure.  Ammonia is created.  Synthetic fertilizers are not nitrate which the plants want but ammonia based concoctions.  Ammonium Nitrate, Ammonium Sulfate, Ammonium this and that … also known as fertilizer salts.  The use of non renewable resources is not sustainable.  In order to increase crop yields these chemicals are spread on the ground.  Runoff pollutes our land and water.
Pollan explained how Nitrate is created in nature by lightning and rain water.
BAM!  Thank you GOD!  Ten minutes after my little prayer I was shown what to do with the technology.  We have lightning in a bottle, we pass air though it and produce nitrate the same way it is produced in nature!
Now what?