Date: 28 Jul, 2022
Author: Ashish Kumar
Oxygen is a nonmetallic element valued for its high reactivity and its ability to form compounds with most of the elements with the exception of noble gases. Molecular oxygen represented as O2 is found only in the Earth’s atmosphere.
O2 comprises of almost 21% the planet’s atmosphere and 89% sea water. Most important significance of O2 is its primacy for sustaining life as it is the basis for aerobic cellular respiration. It attaches with hemoglobin and travels to every cell in the body burning food to release energy essential for performing daily tasks of life.
In this Article
The nonmetallic element promotes and is essential for numerous industrial processes. It is valued for its property of aiding combustion which is used in wide range of industries for enabling & sustain burning processes.
It is also used for increasing the efficiency of oxidative reactions for making numerous compounds in the chemical industry. It is the 2nd most industrially consumed gas after N2. O2 is also represented as GOX or GO when it is produced and delivered in the gaseous form.
It is represented as LOX (liquid oxygen plant) or LO when it is generated and delivered in the liquefied state. Oxygen is generated for industrial applications through two methods of adsorption technology and cryogenic distillation.
Ozone represented as O3 is an allotropic form of oxygen which is far more reactive in comparison with ordinary oxygen. It is produced in the atmosphere due to the electrical discharges in the nature and though adsorption of ultraviolet light.
Dangerous radiations are stepped from reaching inside earth’s atmosphere by adsorption of ultraviolet light. O3 is known to have strong oxidative characteristic enabling it to convert sulfides into sulfates and sulfur dioxide and sulfur dioxide into sulfur trioxide. It is generated in large amount through commercial ozone generators for industrial and environmental applications. The allotropic compound also finds applications as a chemical regent for water purification and bleaching textiles.
Nitrogen is nonmetallic element which is characterized by its properties of inertness and stability. It is tasteless, odorless and colorless in gaseous state as well as in cryogenic form. It is found mainly in the planet’s atmosphere although it is said to be the 7th most plentiful element in the universe.
It is said to constitute around 78% of the planet’s atmosphere. It is found everywhere including all living organisms, soil and plants. The nonmetallic element is found in nucleic proteins, which is the building block of DNA, key to life. It is also important in the growth of plants and consequently the production of food.
As far as use of n2 for plant growth is concerned, it should be kept mind to use it in a balanced measure. If it is not used in adequate amount the plant growth will be stunted. And, if it is used in excess, it will turn toxic thus harming the plants and the environment.
Plant receiving insufficient nitrogen will not grow to their full potential and will bear smaller fruits. Nitrogen fertilizers can be used for better growth but again too much of them will end up harming the plants and our aquatic system. For getting proper growth in plants, it is important to understand the nitrogen cycle where atmospheric n2 mixes with Earth, its soil and plants and moves back up into the atmosphere.
After the discovery of nitrogen in 1772 by Scottish physician, Daniel Rutherford, it has been that it is valuable for numerous industrial applications because of its inert properties. It is used in industries on a wide scale for preventing oxidation—reactions with oxygen that causes fire hazards and degrades food due to oxidative rancidity.
It is used for creating inert atmosphere for transportation of hazards products and materials like petroleum. In the food industry, it is used for preserving the integrity, taste, texture and increasing the shelf life. In the manufacturing and processing sectors, it is valued mainly for its dry, clean and inert properties where it is used for controlling oxidation.
Nitrogen plant is extensively used in industries including steel, chemical, pharmaceutical & biotechnology, electronics, oil & gas, etc. In these industries it is used processes like blanketing for protection against oxygen exposure. In the wine it is used during bottling to ensure it is protected from the dangers of oxidation.
It is used for aiding gas flushing and process inserting in the chemical industry. In its liquid state, nitrogen is used for preservation of blood samples, semen, tissue and various other types of biological specimens. It is produced industrially through mostly by two techniques cryogenic distillation and pressure swing adsorption.