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Oxygen Production


Industrially, oxygen is typically produced in bulk quantity as a liquid produced by distillation from atmospheric air.

In the laboratory small quantities of oxygen can be produced through heating potassium permanganate (KMnO4):

2KMnO4 = K2MnO4 + MnO2 + O2

The decomposition of hydrogen peroxide using manganese dioxide as a catalyst also results in the production of more pure oxygen gas:

MnO2: 2H2O2 = 2H2O + O2^

Oxygen is yielded after intensive (at the temperature higher than 600°C) baking of sodium nitrate:

2NaNO3 = 2NaNO2 + O2^

as well as heating of some higher oxides:

4CrO3 = 2Cr2O3 + 3O2^
2PbO2 = 2PbO + O2^
3MnO2 = Mn3O4 + O2^

The reaction between the mixture of sodium peroxide and potassium superoxide KO2 and carbon dioxide is the main source of oxygen in confined spaces such as space ships, submarines etc.:

2Na2O2 + 2CO2 => 2Na2CO3 + O2^
4KO2 + 2CO2 => 2K2CO3 + O2^

If their molar ratio is 1:1, then each mole of air carbon dioxide will yield one mole of oxygen, so the air proportions will not be changed due to respiration.

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