Oxygen has two important properties: it supports combustion and it supports life. Oxygen has been used in welding and medicine for over a hundred years and in other industries since the 1960ís. Oxygen is used by many other industries in a variety of oxidation processes. Mixed with fuel gases, oxygen provides a heat source for many welding, cutting and metal making processes. Oxygen-enhanced combustion increases productivity and helps to reduce harmful combustion by-products.
- Supports combustion
- Welding and cutting
- Fuel gas oxidant
- Controlled-rate and high energy combustion
- Enrichment of combustion atmospheres in glass-making, non-ferrous smelting and brick making
- Life support
- Iron and steel processing
- Enhanced fermentation
- Rocket fuel mixtures
- Water oxygenation for waste water treatment
- Odour control
- Pulp and paper bleaching
Oxygen, symbol O, is a slightly magnetic gaseous element. Oxygen is more abundant than any other element on earth.
Three structural forms of oxygen are known. These are:
- Ordinary oxygen, containing two atoms per molecule, formula O2
- Ozone, containing three atoms per molecule, formula O3
- A pale blue, nonmagnetic form, O4, containing four atoms per molecule, which readily breaks down into ordinary oxygen.
|Gas density||1.429 Kg/m3|
|Critical pressure||50.4 bar|
Oxygen is produced by the fractional distillation of liquid air. Air is liquefied and allowed to evaporate. The nitrogen in the liquid air boils off first, leaving the oxygen.
Oxygen strongly supports combustion and will aid any fire. It is an oxidant and therefore can react with materials to form an oxide producing a violent reaction. There is also a danger of cylinder rupture. For more detail on the hazards associated with oxygen check the Safety Data sheet.