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Issue regarding oxygen storage with other elements

  1. Sep 3, 2010 #1
    this is from Nick Lane's Oxygen book
    I didn't quite understand this paragraph regarding the sudden release of a large amount of oxygen from cyanobacteria following the ice ages


    i don't understand how it's better to bury it. surely reacting with organic matter would be better as it is more likely to form a covalent bond with oxygen as it is willing to donate electrons
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 3, 2010 #2


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    Consider his actual words..." ...best way of preventing the complete re-uptake of atmospheric oxygen..."

    You are saying the same thing.
  4. Sep 3, 2010 #3


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    Well, that's wrong. Fe(I) is a rare and unstable redox state for iron. Rusting consists of two, or three-electron oxidation to form FeO or Fe2O3.

    A carbon atom does undergo four-electron oxidation to form CO2, but that means it binds 33% more oxygen than iron, not four times as much.
    (if we're going to be fair and choose the highest oxidation state of iron, since he chose the highest oxidation state of carbon).

    That's a pretty embarrassing mistake coming from a guy who's got a PhD.
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