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Oxygen Applications

Applications

There are various applications of oxygen. Air-separated oxygen is used mainly in metallurgy. The oxygen blow increases the rate of blast-furnace process; it spares coke and increases the quality of cast iron. Oxygen blow is also used in converting cast iron onto steel. The oxygen-enriched air is also used in nonferrous-metals industry such as in the production of copper, nickel and lead.

Oxygen is used for welding and cutting iron and steel using oxyacetylene torches. High-pressure oxygen is stored under 15 MPa in special steel tanks of blue colour to distinguish from other gases.

Liquid oxygen finds use as a classic oxidizer in rocket launch engines propulsion. The mixture of liquid oxygen and liquid nitrogen is one of the most powerful oxidizers; its performance index surpasses the indices of hydrogen-fluorine and hydrogen-fluorine oxide binary systems.

Some materials, e.g. sawdust, cotton wool, carbon powder and other materials called oxyliquits are used in construction as explosives.

Oxygen is not toxic and incombustible, yet it supports combustion. All hydrocarbons become highly exposable in mixture with liquid oxygen, including oils, CS2. Partially soluble combustible contaminations which become solid in liquid oxygen are especially dangerous, for instance acetylene, propylene, CS2. Prohibitive amounts of acetylene is 0.04 sm3/l, CS2 0.04 sm3/l and oils 0.4 sm3/l.

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