Oxygen is the third most abundant chemical element in the universe, after hydrogen and helium, diatomic oxygen gas constitutes 20.8% of the Earth's atmosphere .

Oxygen is the most frequent element in our living space. At atmospheric pressure and room temperature, oxygen is a colourless and odourless gas.
Applications of Oxygen Many industrial processes are using air for combustion and chemical oxidation

oxy gas 400

In the processing industry and autogenous technology, oxygen is used to:
- Coat work pieces using oxy-fuel gas flame spraying
- Operate high-performance burners
- Derust steel sheets or rework concrete surfaces by flame blasting remove flash from metal die castings by explosion deburring (in a pressure chamber with an O2/H2 or O2/CH4 mixture)

In metallurgy and the steel industry, oxygen is used to:
- Refinepig iron in converters  increase the performance of induction furnaces in the manufacture of cast iron (using O2 burners)
- Increase the performance of shaft or cupola furnaces in the manufacture of cast iron
- Increase the performance of blast furnaces by injecting O2
- Preheat casting ladles
- Increase the performance of furnaces in non-ferrous metallurgy
- Boost reheating and annealing furnaces in rolling mills, processing lines and forges
- With additional oxy-fuel burners

In chemistry, energy engineering and environmental protection, oxygen is used to:
- Produce chemical products through oxidation of inorganic raw materials and organic raw materials
- Generate synthesis gases
- Regenerate catalysts (for example: burn off adsorbed coke in the Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) process, see Example H below)
- Operate power stations with low emissions, e.g. through coal gasifi cation with O2 and subsequent removal/recycling/sequestration of CO2 treat waste water in biological sewage works - prevent anaerobic digestion processes in pressurised sewers
- Produce chemical pulp from wood chips in paper manufacturing
- Produce ozone for hygiene and chemical purposes
- Treat solid waste products in gasifi cation plants
- Treat flame-resistant, harmful liquids
- Enable oxidative treatment of drinking water

In engineering, food treatment and medicine, oxygen is used to:
- Substitute chemicals in meat and sausage preparation
- Preserve packaged food
- Oxygenate water in fi sh-farming basins or containers for transporting fish
- Provide respiratory gas in aircrafts
- Support and enable various medical applications
- Besides, oxygen is used to:
- Recover energy and raw materials
- Improve finish on industrial products
- Manufacture semiconductor components
- Improve burnout, slag liquefaction and emission values
- Increase the performance of melting devices and emission control units


One hundred million tonnes of oxygen are extracted from air for industrial uses annually by two primary methods: fractional distillation and distilling.
Oxygen gas can also be produced through electrolysis of water into molecular oxygen and hydrogen.

A similar method is the electrocatalytic oxygen evolution from oxides and oxoacids. Chemical catalysts can be used as well, such as in chemical oxygen generators or oxygen candles that are used as part of the life-support equipment on submarines, and are still part of standard equipment on commercial airliners in case of depressurization emergencies

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