Oxygen Element

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Oxygen Element

The Element Oxygen

  1. Oxygen (O), nonmetallic chemical element of Group 16 (VIa, or the oxygen group) of the periodic table. Oxygen is a colourless, odourless, tasteless gas essential to living organisms, being taken up by animals, which convert it to carbon dioxide; plants, in turn, utilize carbon dioxide as a source of carbon and return the oxygen to the atmosphere.
  2. Oxygen is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas. It will support life. It is noncombustible, but will actively support the burning of combustible materials. Some materials that will not burn in air will burn in oxygen.

Aug 20, 2019 Oxygen is the element with atomic number 8 and element symbol O. Under ordinary conditions, it can exist as a pure element in the form of oxygen gas (O 2 ) and also ozone (O 3 ). Here is a collection of facts about this essential element.

[Click for Isotope Data]

Atomic Number: 8

Atomic Weight: 15.9994

Melting Point: 54.36 K (-218.79°C or -361.82°F)

Boiling Point: 90.20 K (-182.95°C or -297.31°F)

Density: 0.001429 grams per cubic centimeter

Phase at Room Temperature: Gas

Oxygen Element Box

Element Classification: Non-metal


Period Number: 2

Oxygen ElementOxygen Element

Group Number: 16


Group Name: Chalcogen

What's in a name? From the greek words oxys and genes, which together mean 'acid forming.'

Oxygen Element O8

Say what? Oxygen is pronounced as OK-si-jen.

History and Uses:

Oxygen had been produced by several chemists prior to its discovery in 1774, but they failed to recognize it as a distinct element. Joseph Priestley and Carl Wilhelm Scheele both independently discovered oxygen, but Priestly is usually given credit for the discovery. They were both able to produce oxygen by heating mercuric oxide (HgO). Priestley called the gas produced in his experiments 'dephlogisticated air' and Scheele called his 'fire air'. The name oxygen was created by Antoine Lavoisier who incorrectly believed that oxygen was necessary to form all acids.

Oxygen is the third most abundant element in the universe and makes up nearly 21% of the earth's atmosphere. Oxygen accounts for nearly half of the mass of the earth's crust, two thirds of the mass of the human body and nine tenths of the mass of water. Large amounts of oxygen can be extracted from liquefied air through a process known as fractional distillation. Oxygen can also be produced through the electrolysis of water or by heating potassium chlorate (KClO3).

Oxygen Element Charge

Oxygen is a highly reactive element and is capable of combining with most other elements. It is required by most living organisms and for most forms of combustion. Impurities in molten pig iron are burned away with streams of high pressure oxygen to produce steel. Oxygen can also be combined with acetylene (C2H2) to produce an extremely hot flame used for welding. Liquid oxygen, when combined with liquid hydrogen, makes an excellent rocket fuel. Ozone (O3) forms a thin, protective layer around the earth that shields the surface from the sun's ultraviolet radiation. Oxygen is also a component of hundreds of thousands of organic compounds.

Estimated Crustal Abundance: 4.61×105 milligrams per kilogram

Oxygen Element Symbol

Estimated Oceanic Abundance: 8.57×105 milligrams per liter

Number of Stable Isotopes: 3 (View all isotope data)

Ionization Energy: 13.618 eV

Oxidation States: -2

Oxygen Element Compound Or Mixture

Electron Shell Configuration:


2s2 2p4

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