Most people know that without oxygen, no living thing on our planet would exist, but there is much more to oxygen than simply the most important part of the air we breathe. Oxygen itself is a colorless, odorless gas that occupies the eight space on the periodic table, is a diatomic nonmetal, and was discovered around 1773 by Carl Wilhelm Scheele in Sweden and named in 1777 for the Greek words oxys, or acid and -genes for producer. However, it was determined its name was not quite accurate as it originally came from the belief that all acids needed oxygen in their makeup. While hydrogen and helium are the most abundant elements in our universe, oxygen comes in third, but without it, we would cease to exist. Below are some more interesting facts about oxygen you may or may not know.
Oxygen is Much More Than Just Air
– The air we breathe is made up of approximately 21 percent oxygen, 78 percent nitrogen with the remaining one percent made up of various gases.
– Oxygen itself is not flammable; however, it does provide fuel to support the combustion process. This is why any fire will burn better if it has good ventilation.
– Almost two-thirds of the weight of living things is oxygen. This is because living things are made up mostly of water and nearly 89 percent of water is made up of oxygen.
– Oxygen is replenished by green plants through a process called photosynthesis, without them, our air would contain nearly zero oxygen.
photosynthesis creates oxygen
– There are five main elements that make up the Earth’s crust and nearly half of its weight comes from oxygen. The other half is made up of silicon, aluminum, iron, and calcium.
– Without oxygen, we would not have the phenomena of the Northern and Southern Lights. The green and dark red coloring is caused when oxygen molecules are split, which causes them to lose energy and emit photons that produce the stunning colors.
– When you hyperventilate, it is not caused by too much oxygen, it is caused by the loss of carbon dioxide, the by-product of oxygen produced in our lungs. It is the disruption in this balance that causes you to feel faint, nauseous, and eventually faint. By breathing into a paper bag, you can recycle the carbon dioxide you exhale and restore your body’s balance.
– Oxygen used for medical and industrial use is obtained by super-freezing liquefied air and capturing the oxygen gas that is released. Oxygen in its liquid form is not clear it is actually pale blue.
NASA has studied oxygen and can trace its long history back nearly 2.5 billion years, but have yet to determine exactly why it became a predominant part of our atmosphere. It is thought that photosynthesizing organisms, like green plants, flourished after geologic changes in the Earth, thus increasing the amount of oxygen produced in the air.
Argyle Welding Oxygen
While the fact that we require oxygen is simple, there is so much more too this odorless, colorless substance. Aside from being a requirement for living things to exist, oxygen has a number of uses in the manufacturing of glass, steel and chemicals as well as a supplemental gas for welding. The most common use of oxygen is in the medical community. Supplemental oxygen is used to treat patients who suffer from a variety of lung disorders to help maintain a healthier level of oxygen in their blood and is packaged for both hospital and home use. There is no doubt that although we cannot see, smell or feel oxygen, it is one of the most important elements in the universe.
Argyle Welding Oxygen Tanks
Argyle Welding Supply provides both professional and at-home welders with all the safety equipment and working materials needed both on and off the job. We also carry a variety of products for the food and beverage industry, pool maintenance and specialized gas products for a variety of applications including various gases and gas supplies for consumer use, including oxygen for commercial and medical use. At Argyle, we strive to be the best welding supplier we can so that our customers are safe and productive. Visit us at any of our three locations in El Paso, Albuquerque, or Las Cruces or on our social media on Facebook and Twitter.