Oxygen Essay, Research Paper


Oxygen was first discovered by two scientists. One was a British Chemist Joseph Priestly who was given credit for the discovery in 1774. The other was a Swedish Chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele who had also discovered it around the same time as Priestly. Yet Priestly was given credit because his work, and results were published. Priestly had first found this new element when he observed that mercuric oxide, on heating. Yielded a gas that caused a flame to burn faster. He later found that it could support respiration and therefore he named it dephlogisticated air. It wasn’t until a French chemist Antoine Laurent Lavoisier found it to be an elemental gas. It received it’s current name in s1787 when several French Chemist’s including Lavoiser found that it formed acids from certain oxides of sulfur. The name oxygen literally means (acid former).

Oxygen in everyday surroundings

Oxygen is the most abundant element found in the Earth’s crust. It makes up one-fifth of the air that surrounds the earth by volume. Oxygen is present in many things and therefore it makes up 49.5 % (by weight) of the earth’s crust. It also makes up 88.81 of water by weight. It has a boiling point of -183 F (-297 C), and a melting point of -360 F (-218 C).


Oxygen is a colorless odorless and tasteless gas under ordinary conditions. It also has a pale blue color when it condenses in liquid state. Chemically oxygen can form compounds with almost any other chemical element. The elements when heated in a atmosphere containing oxygen form oxides.

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