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Easiest way to find out if oxygen is produced

  1. Dec 12, 2005 #1
    What is the easiest way you can tell or find out if oxygen is produced in a certain reaction? Or in other words, how can one prove that a certain reaction releases oxygen? The answer cannot deal with combustion.

    I searched on google, and couldn't quite get an answer. I thought about it for a while, but simply cannot think of anything.

    Any help will be appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 12, 2005 #2


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    You could expose the gas to iron in the presence of water and see if it rusts. If there isn't any oxygen then you won't get rust. You'd have to keep the iron under an otherwise inert atmosphere.
  4. Dec 12, 2005 #3
    NaOH can oxidize glucose and reduce methylene blue, forming a colorless solution. Oxygen, however, can reoxidize the solution returning the blue color.

    Look up the blue bottle experiment.
  5. Dec 13, 2005 #4
    can we simply use growing sprint?
  6. Dec 13, 2005 #5


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    In addition to what everyone contributed to. Assuming that only oxygen is released you can trap the oxygen (or air flow rather) and expose it to hot copper metal, you'll have the formation of copper oxide and you can perform a gravimetric analysis. Lord Rayleigh employed the method to compare the nitrogen composition in air (assuming oxygen and nitrogen gas constituents) with that obtained through decomposition of nitrogen compounds; he removed the oxygen from air and compared the mass of the nitrogen for a given volume (from the resulting density) from the mass obtained from the latter method. Statistical measures revealed a discrepancy between the two replicate measurements....the mass from air was slightly higher, this was due to the slight prescence of Argon, for which he detected and won the Nobel prize.

    I'm sure there are other practical methods for detection, some may involve a peculiar quantum, thermodynamic (rate analysis involving ozone), and physical characteristic of oxygen; such as those involved in instrumental detectors. Or perhaps a certain electrolysis or galvanic method (galvanic method or electrolysis with a high partial pressure of oxygen for qualitative analysis). Oxygen is also a good quencher, so you may want to refer to what Cesium mentioned.

    I'm sure there are standard methods, nothings springs to mind at the moment.
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