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  • Chemistry – Oxygen – Notes For W.B.C.S. Examination.
    Posted on April 19th, 2019 in Paper IV : General Studies II

    Chemistry – Oxygen – Notes For W.B.C.S. Examination.

    • Oxygen is the member of group 16 on the periodic table; however, most of the time, it is treated differently from its group.Continue Reading Chemistry – Oxygen – Notes For W.B.C.S. Examination.
    • The symbol of oxygen is ‘O’ and atomic number is ‘8.’
    • Oxygen has about nine allotropes and the most common allotrope is diatomic oxygen (i.e. O2). Other important allotrope is Ozone i.e. O3.
    • Oxygen, first time, was noticed by Swedish pharmacist Carl Wilhelm Scheele.

    Salient Features of Oxygen

    • Oxygen is characteristically categorized as the member of “chalcogen” group.
    • The word “chalcogen” is derived from a Greek word “khalkόs,” which means “copper” and the Latin-Greek word “Genēs,” which means born or produced.
    • Oxygen is a highly reactive gas (or nonmetallic element); hence, it is an oxidizing agent that readily forms oxides with most of the elements and compounds.
    • Oxygen has six valence electrons.
    • The melting point of oxygen is -218.80C and the boiling point is -1830C.

    Occurrence of Oxygen

    • With about 20.8 percent share (in total earth’s atmospheric constituents), oxygen is the second ranked element of the earth’s atmosphere.
    • Oxygen occurs almost in sphere of the earth namely atmosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere.
    • During the photosynthesis process, free oxygen is produced by all green plants.
    • Oxygen occurs as constituent copper ores.
    • A human body contains about 65 percent oxygen.
    • By mass, almost half of the earth’s crust is composed of oxygen (i.e. its oxides).
    • By mass, oxygen is the third-most abundant element that found in the universe; the first and second are hydrogen and helium accordingly.
    • Oxygen (i.e. O2) is a colorless and odorless diatomic gas.
    • Oxygen dissolves in water very easily; however, the solubility of oxygen in the water is temperature-dependent.

    Compounds of Oxygen

    • Following are the major compounds of oxygen −
      • Oxide
      • Peroxide
      • Carbon dioxide – CO2
      • Hydroxide – OH
      • Ozone – O3
      • Mercury (II) oxide – HgO
      • Chlorate – ClO3
      • Aluminum oxide – Al2O3
      • Carbon monoxide – CO
      • Hypochlorite – ClO
      • Silicon dioxide – SiO2
      • Hypofluorous acid – HOF
      • Sodium peroxide – Na2O2
      • Potassium chlorate – KClO3
      • Oxygen difluoride – OF2
      • Sodium oxide – Na2O

    Uses of Oxygen

    • Oxygen (O2) is the most essential requirements for the respiration, without it, life cannot be imagined.
    • Oxygen is used in medicine.
    • Oxygen therapy is typically used to treat some diseases, such as, emphysema, pneumonia, some heart disorders, etc.
    • Some of the underwater activities, such as scuba diving, submarines, etc. also use artificial oxygen.
    • Aircrafts, mountaineers, etc. also use artificial oxygen.
    • Oxygen is also used in some of the industries, e.g. smelting of iron ore into steel – in this process, about 55% of oxygen is used.

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