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 (nontoxic)

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

I am looking at at an operating temperature of ~$\pu{800 ^\circ C}$.


2 Answers 2


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? $\endgroup$
    – Tinker
    Sep 4, 2015 at 7:17
  • $\begingroup$ It depends on the purpose of your process. $\endgroup$ Sep 4, 2015 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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