Oxygen


Oxygen
Oxygen (O) is a chemical element. It is one of the gases found in the air. It has no color or smell and cannot be seen. It supports life--animals (including humans) need oxygen to live. The purpose of breathing is to get a fresh supply of oxygen into the body. Oxygen also helps burning.
When an oxygen atom forms a molecule with two hydrogen atoms, it becomes Water (H2O). Water is something that all animals need to live.
Oxygen was discovered in 1772 by Joseph Priestley. The word oxygen comes from Greek words: oxus (acid) and gennan (generate).
Use of oxygen gas.
One of the most common is in use under welding, where it is mixed with acetylene to get a very hot flame. Another use is using it in space rockets, as an oxidizer together with the rocket fuel, (hydrogen or hydrazine) to create powerful combustion and propel the rocket forwards at great speeds. Use of liquid oxygen may be problematic because it is so cold- it may cause pipes to freeze or rubber to become porous.
It does not burn by itself, but it is what drives a combustion. It is therefore quite dangerous when operating it, as if it leaks a spark or hot part may ignite an explosion.
Production of gas.
Pure oxygen can be produced in several ways; one is through electrolysis of water to yield O2 and H2 gas.
In nature, plants produce it in chlorophyll in their cells from CO2 and water, and with solar energy it reacts to O2 and C6H12O6 (which builds up cellulose molecules.)


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