I'd like to find an economical substance that will consume oxygen from a container. Steel wool comes to mind but I don't have an intuition how feasible it would be.

The chamber is 5 gallons in size and I'd like the oxygen to be consumed in 48 hours or less.


closed as too broad by Mithoron, Todd Minehardt, Tyberius, a-cyclohexane-molecule, A.K. Nov 4 '18 at 20:14

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  • $\begingroup$ Some polyphenols absorb O2 from air. $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Nov 2 '18 at 20:01
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    $\begingroup$ Nitrogen tanks are relatively cheap. N2 is more dense then oxygen, so filling with nitrogen several times should remove most oxygen from your chamber. This in conjunction with a vacuum pump is a standard procedure for removing oxygen from a container in a chemistry setting. $\endgroup$ – mcole Nov 2 '18 at 21:21
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    $\begingroup$ @mcole N2 denser then O2 ? $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Nov 3 '18 at 0:11
  • $\begingroup$ Pyrogallol $\endgroup$ – Nilay Ghosh Nov 3 '18 at 2:42
  • $\begingroup$ oxygen to what level? 0.01%, ppm?, ppb? $\endgroup$ – A.K. Nov 4 '18 at 20:14

As mcole's comment suggests, it may be easier to do this by physical rather than chemical means.

There are two common approaches:


In the purge method, the vessel is filled from a high pressure source of another gas. The air needs some way to escape. If the new gas is more dense, all the better, but even repetitive purges of less dense gases will eventually push all the air out.

Pump and backfill

In this method, the vessel is connected to a vacuum pump, and the air inside is pumped out. The vessel is then refilled with an inert gas. Depending on your needs, you can repeat this process several times.


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