If you have ever wondered about the differences between liquid oxygen and gaseous oxygen, we’re here to help! The fact that a gas can also be a liquid can be confusing but it all comes down to simple science.
First things first: there is no fundamental difference between liquid oxygen and gaseous oxygen. Oxygen is a gas in its’ natural form here on Earth, but by cooling it, we are able to condense the gas to the point that it becomes liquid. How cold does it have to be to condense? Well, the boiling point of liquid oxygen is –183°C (–297°F). That means liquid oxygen converts back to a gas at that temperature. Because of this extremely cold liquid state, liquid oxygen is a cryogenic material similar to liquid nitrogen and liquid helium. Those extremely cold temperatures are one reason why there are such strong warnings about how to properly handle liquid oxygen. Even our coldest Canadian winter air is warmer than the boiling point of liquid oxygen! Protecting liquid oxygen from ambient temperatures is vital to safe handling.
Differences Between Liquid Oxygen And Gaseous Oxygen
Liquid and gaseous oxygen aren’t that different. Neither is flammable by itself but both are strong oxidizers and can cause materials that burn in air to react more vigorously. Their differences mainly come down to storage. By cooling gaseous oxygen, it can be converted to a liquid. This condenses the oxygen and allows a larger amount of the element to be stored in a small space. When the liquid is warmed back up, it expands 860 times to become a gas again.
The advantages of this type of condensation and expansion are enormous. Liquid oxygen storage is less bulky, less expensive, and more easily handled/transported than gaseous oxygen storage. Containers must meet strict requirements to protect people from the cold temperature and to prevent the oxygen from expanding.
Since so many other gases react in the presence of oxygen, it’s very widely used in the metalworking and welding industries to melt, cut, weld, harden, and clean various materials.
Arrange Liquid Oxygen Delivery From Josef Gas
Josef Gas carries pure oxygen and oxygen blends in cylinders and tanks of various sizes to meet many different needs. We supply small, portable cylinders for the home hobbyist or small job specialist as well as larger tanks and liquid cylinders for bigger jobs. Cylinders are filled on-site using high-capacity computer-controlled weigh scales to ensure consistent and accurate filling.
Contact us at 416.658.1212, visit us online at www.josefgases.com or stop by to chat about your liquid oxygen needs in person at 201 Basaltic Road, Concord, ON.