O for Oxygen

Oxygen (Atomic number 8) comes from   French oxygène, coined in 1777 by French chemist Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier , from Greek oxys “sharp, acid” + French -gène “something that produces”. Yhe element was isolated by Priestley (1774).

Oxygen does not burn! It does, however, support the combustion of other substances. If oxygen itself actually burnt, simply striking a match would be enough to burn all of the oxygen in our planet’s atmosphere.

Almost two-thirds of the weight of living things comes from oxygen, mainly because living things contain a lot of water and 88.9 percent of water’s weight comes from oxygen.

Oxygen (O2) is unstable in our planet’s atmosphere and must be constantly replenished by photosynthesis in green plants. Without life, our atmosphere would contain almost no O2.

Almost half of the weight of the earth’s crust comes from oxygen. (Silicon, aluminum, iron and calcium are the other four main elements in the crust.)

Oxygen is made in stars which have a mass of five or more Earth suns when they burn helium and carbon or just carbon in nuclear fusion reactions. Oxygen is part of the ‘ash’ formed by these nuclear fires.

Dry air is 21 percent oxygen, 78 percent nitrogen and 1 percent other gases.

Reference: chemicool.com


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