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Oxygen Formula

Last updated date: 19th May 2024
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Oxygen - The Living Gas

Oxygen is a naturally occurring gas. About 21% of the Earth’s atmosphere is composed of oxygen gas. Moreover, it is also present as a part of several compounds that exist in nature, making it the most common element on Earth. Most living things need oxygen to survive. Oxygen is very important for a living organism to survive , to multiply and for converting food into energy. Oxygen is living gas for human beings and they breathe with help of their nose reaching to lungs. Only oxygen gas gives our cells ability to convert food into energy which is very important for us to survive.

Oxygen comes under the category of non-metal element but it is found in molecule form in nature. Each molecule has  two oxygen atoms strongly joined together. Oxygen has low melting and boiling points are some important features of oxygen.

What is Oxygen?

Oxygen is a member of the group 6  of non  metals in the periodic table. It is a crucial component in most combustion processes. It is one of the most valuable and significant  elements found in nature. The below chemical formula for oxygen is based on the molecular formula, which indicates the numbers of each type of atom in a molecule without structural data, as compared to the empirical formula, which gives numerical proportions of atoms of each type.

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The above chemical formula serves as the foundation for stoichiometry in chemical equations, which is the calculation of the relative quantities of reactants and products in chemical reactions. The law of conservation of mass states that in a chemical reaction, the quantity of each element given in the chemical formula does not change. As a result, based on the chemical formula, each side of the chemical equation must represent the same quantity of any particular element.

Oxygen ratio is less when compared to other gas in the air. We cannot inhale pure oxygen as it can be dangerous. It also affects your body functioning and can damage your eyes or lungs.

Uses of Oxygen

  • It is helpful in preparation of glass and other industries related to mining and queries

  • Special oxygen chambers are used in case of high pressure to increase the partial pressure of oxygen around the patient.

  • The primary applications of oxygen include melting, refining, and manufacturing steel along with other metals.

Physical Properties of Oxygen

  • There is no specific colour and smell of oxygen

  • Liquid oxygen is slightly paramagnetic in nature and it can easily get dissolved with water when compared to other elements.It can get easily mixed up with various elements to form oxides..

  • Dioxygen is one of the common allotropes of oxygen.

  • The most reactive allotrope of oxygen is Tri oxygen which affects the tissues of lungs. 

Chemical Properties of Oxygen

Two atoms of the element bind together at standard temperature and pressure (STP) to form dioxygen, a colourless, odourless, and tasteless diatomic gas with the formula O2. Oxygen is a highly reactive nonmetallic element that belongs to the periodic table's chalcogen group. As a result, it readily forms compounds (particularly oxides) with nearly all other elements. Oxygen is a powerful oxidizer with the second-highest electronegativity of all reactive elements. After hydrogen and helium, oxygen is the third-most abundant element in the universe by mass, and the most abundant element by mass in the Earth's crust, accounting for nearly half of the crust's mass. Without the photosynthetic action of living organisms, which use the energy of sunlight to produce elemental oxygen from water, free oxygen is too chemically reactive to appear on Earth. Elemental O2 began to accumulate in the atmosphere approximately 2.5 billion years ago, following the evolution of photosynthetic organisms. Diatomic oxygen gas now accounts for 20.8 % of the volume of air.


The oxygen formula is one of the most well-known and widely used formulas in chemistry. Oxygen is the most abundant element on the planet. It is represented by the symbol O and belongs to the chalcogen group in the periodic table. Some of the most important properties of oxygen are that it is a colourless, tasteless, and odourless gas, that it dissolves easily in water, and that it reacts with other elements and compounds to form oxides. It is also the most essential gas for humans because it aids in respiration.

FAQs on Oxygen Formula

1. What is the structure of the oxygen molecule?

The Oxygen molecule comprises two atoms of Oxygen which is covalent in nature. Both the Oxygen atoms contain six electrons in their valence shell, and therefore, require two electrons to complete their octet. Oxygen shares two electrons from each atom of the molecule due to their high electronegative nature, resulting in the covalent bond’s formation. Due to the completion of the atom, the Oxygen molecule becomes stable.

2. What is the chief component of the artificial respiratory system used in hospitals?

Every human being requires Oxygen to breathe. If they face issues in breathing, they are provided with an artificial respiratory system. The chief component of the artificial respiratory system is gaseous Oxygen.

3. What is the chief determinant of the physical and chemical properties of the oxygen molecule?

The Oxygen molecule structure and the surrounding condition determines the physical and chemical properties of the Oxygen molecule.

4. Are there any alternatives to oxygen for humans and animals for survival?

In the present scenario, NO, unless there's some mutation. To date, no other gas is known to replace oxygen by its breakdown ability. Oxygen is one of the prime reasons why the earth has undergone so much of evolution and it prospered so much throughout the ages. Oxygen gas is the only molecule which gives energy to  cells used for regular cell activities. 

5. How oxygen is taken and released by plants?

Oxygen is responsible for cellular respiration in plants. Oxygen plays an important role in preparation of food in the presence of sunlight. Oxygen present in water is taken by the roots of plants which provides nutrients to the plant.In process of preparation of food plants use oxygen and release it in the form of byproduct also.

6. Why only oxygen is living gas for humans can humans survive with other gases. 

Humans can survive only by intake of oxygen as it is the only gas which lung capillaries can absorb. The respiration process carried by lungs and heart is carried only through oxygen because it can easily get mixed into blood . The other cases are not suitable for our respiration  process or preparation of blood.Hence oxygen is the only element which all living things can survive.