Oxygen Gas | Properties | Uses | Facts - Elements and Compounds


Sunday, March 5, 2023

Oxygen Gas | Properties | Uses | Facts

Properties Uses and Facts about Oxygen

    What is Oxygen

    Oxygen is a gas, it is classified as a nonmetal, and chemically it is an element. It is found in gaseous state at normal temperature. The melting point (melting temperature) of oxygen is -218.8 °C (-361.12 °F), At temperatures lower than this, oxygen gas is found in the solid state. The boiling point (boiling temperature) of oxygen is −183 °C (−297.4 °F). The density of oxygen (at 20 °C) is 1.429 grams per 1000 cubic centimeters. Oxygen has the symbol O, atomic number 8, and its atomic mass is 15.999 amu. Oxygen atom has 8 electrons, 8 protons, 8 neutrons and 2 energy levels. Oxygen is located in group 16, period 2 and block P in the periodic table.

    Oxygen was discovered in 1774 by Joseph Priestly.
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    Properties of Oxygen

    • Oxygen is a colourless, tasteless and odorless gas.
    • In the liquid state, oxygen appears as a light blue colored liquid.
    • Oxygen itself does not catch fire, but it helps in the burning of any object, that is, any object burns only in the presence of oxygen.
    • Oxygen gas is moderately soluble in water.
    • Oxygen is a chemically active gas. It reacts with all elements except helium, neon, argon and krypton to form oxides.
    • Three forms of oxygen are found in nature. The first form contains one atom of oxygen, it is represented by O, this form of oxygen is highly active chemically, That's why two atoms of oxygen join together to form one molecule of oxygen O2. O2 is another form of oxygen, it is most commonly found in nature, it is called oxygen gas. The third form of oxygen is O3, it is also called ozone, there are three atoms of oxygen in one molecule of ozone (O3).
    • Oxygen is a paramagnetic gas, meaning it is little attracted to a magnetic field.

    Uses of Oxygen

    • Oxygen is essential for respiration of almost all living beings, so it is the most important use of oxygen.
    • The most commercial use of oxygen is in the steel industry. In the steel industry, impurities present in molten pig iron are burnt with streams of high-pressure oxygen to make steel.
    • Oxygen is used in the production of copper, lead and zinc metals.
    • Liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen are used as fuel in rockets.
    • For cutting metals and for gas welding oxygen is used along with fuel gas (LPG, acetylene etc.) to generate high temperature.
    • Oxygen is used to make a variety of chemicals, among which nitric acid and hydrogen peroxide are prominent.
    • Ozone gas formed from three atoms of oxygen protects the earth from the radiation of ultraviolet rays of the sun.

    Interesting facts about Oxygen

    • Oxygen is the most abundant element found on earth. 46% of the total weight of the earth is due to oxygen alone.
    • About 21% of the oxygen is present in the atmosphere, apart from this, 90% of the weight of the total water present on the earth is due to oxygen.
    • Oxygen is the third most abundant element in the universe.
    • Oxygen is the most abundant element in our body, 65% of the total weight of our body is due to oxygen.
    • Oxygen molecules are also an important part of the proteins and DNA present in our body.
    • The oxygen present in the Earth's atmosphere is made by plants during photosynthesis. So without plants the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere would be very less.
    • 21% oxygen is present in the atmosphere. This amount of oxygen has been surprisingly balanced by nature. Because if the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere decreases below 17%, then the living beings will start having difficulty in breathing. And if the amount of oxygen increases beyond 25%, this amount of oxygen is highly inflammable for many organic compounds, which will increase the incidence of fire manifold.
    • Long-term breathing in air containing oxygen of more than 50% purity damages the lungs.
    • Ozone gas whose molecules are made up of three atoms of oxygen, this ozone gas is extremely harmful for respiration. Lungs are badly damaged by breathing in ozone gas.

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