I am designing an industrial process which can remove oxygen from air. This chemical should combine readily with oxygen in the presence of heat.

In particular, I am looking for a chemical with the following properties:

  1. Combines readily with oxygen, thus removing the oxygen in air
  2. Inexpensive
  3. Environmentally friendly

For point #1, heating is available if it is an endothermic reaction.

  • $\begingroup$ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrogallol for example $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Aug 31 '15 at 20:38
  • $\begingroup$ Pyrogallol is way too toxic $\endgroup$ – Sparrowcide Aug 31 '15 at 20:46
  • $\begingroup$ Was afraid you'd raise that :( $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Aug 31 '15 at 21:06
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ At what temperature? Carbon or magnesium would remove oxygen at 1,000 K or higher. Alkaline glucose might be used at room temperature, though it reacts slowly (see faculty.mansfield.edu/bganong/biochemistry/bluebott.htm). More information would be helpful. $\endgroup$ – DrMoishe Pippik Sep 1 '15 at 0:00
  • $\begingroup$ @DrMoishePippik I am looking at around 800C which is somewhere around 1000K $\endgroup$ – Sparrowcide Sep 1 '15 at 19:49

If $\ce{CO2}$ is acceptable in the feed gas, along with $\ce{CO}$ and a bit of left-over oxygen, then carbon (coal, charcoal etc.) might do. It's ignition temperature is ~1,000 K.

Magnesium is more expensive, but leaves less oxygen and has no gaseous byproduct. It's self-ignition temperature is ~800 K.

Many other materials could be used; it really depends on how the gas is to be used.

  • $\begingroup$ What about just releasing the gas into the atmosphere? $\endgroup$ – Sparrowcide Sep 4 '15 at 7:17
  • $\begingroup$ It depends on the purpose of your process. $\endgroup$ – DrMoishe Pippik Sep 4 '15 at 17:03

If you want to absorb only a small amount of O$_2$ to purify an airstream, you should look up gettering. Titanium metal is one of the most popular if you are willing to heat.

If you are looking to oxidize lots of material, I would look up common reducing agents that are relevant to you in terms of cost, abundance, and toxicity.


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