ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Oxygen : The Most Abundant Element

Updated on July 14, 2008

OXYGEN : The Most Abundant Element

Oxygen, so far is the most abundant element in the earth’s crust, accounting for about 50 % of its mass. Most rocks contain large percentage of oxygen, and sand ( Silicon dioxide SiO2) is more than 50 % Oxygen by mass. Oxygen accounts for about 21% of the volume of our atmosphere in the form of free Oxygen (O2), 66 .67% of the mass of the human body and about 90% of the mass of the earth’s ocean. About ¼ of the atoms in living organisms are Oxygen atoms. Molecules of Oxygen (O2) is also essential in metabolism.

The name Oxygen was given by Lavoisier, from the Greek words meaning “sour’ and ‘to produce’. Oxygen was first obtained by Stephen Hales in 1727, but he failed to recognize it as a new element . Priestly discovered it in 1774, while heating mercuric oxide with the aid of a “ burning glass.”

In combination with Carbon , Hydrogen, and Nitrogen, it enters into the structure of all human life, being an important constituent of sugar, starch, fats, albumen, all Carbohydrates and proeids, woody fiber, etc.


Oxygen gas is odorless, tasteless and colorless with melting point -218 degrees Celsius and boiling point -183 degrees Celsius. It exist as solid below -227 degrees Celsius,As a liquid between -227 degrees Celsius and -182 degrees Celsius and as gas above -182 degrees Celsius. Both liquid and solid Oxygen are light blue in color.


Oxygen is most often prepared commercially by distilling liquid air obtained fron the earth’s atmosphere, Over 400 billion cubic feet is produced in this way every year.The Oxygen in our atmosphere is continually replenished by the “photosynthesis” of plants – a process in which plants convert Carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O) producing Oxygen (O2) and carbohydrates such as glucose in the presence of light and chlorophyll.

6 CO2 + 6 H2O =è C6H12O6 + 6 O2

It has been estimated that each year plants convert over 10 raise to the tenth power metric tons of Carbon into Carbohydrates , producing as a byproduct about 3 X 10^10 metric tons of Oxygen.

Small amounts of Oxygen can be produced in the laboratory by the thermal decomposition of Potassium Chlorate, to which a small amount of manganese oxide has been added.

2 KClO3 ==è 2 KCl + 3 O2


Oxygen is the fifth most important industrial chemical in the United States , where over 35 billion pounds of it are sold annually. Its major commercial use about 65% is in blast furnaces in the manufacture of steel. Oxygen increases the rate of combustion and thereby produces a higher temperature.

Oxygen is also used in the hospitals; in the breathing apparatus of divers, high mountain climbers and astronauts. A very important use of Oxygen is in metabolism. An average resting human adult consumes about 500 Liters (at STP) of Oxygen per day. No ordinary combustion can take place without Oxygen.



Precision And Design

By Verne Biddle


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      divina cabilin 

      9 years ago

      great job! more info pls!

    • cristina327 profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Cristina Aquino Santander 

      10 years ago from Manila

      Thanks rodney for taking time to visit this hub. Regards.

    • rodney southern profile image

      rodney southern 

      10 years ago from Greensboro, NC

      Great hub! Enjoyable read


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)