Difference Between Air and Oxygen (With Table)

Air is an invisible, odorless gas that surrounds the earth. Oxygen is also an invisible, odorless gas that supports life. Most people think that Air and Oxygen are the same. But they are different. Air consists of many components in which Oxygen is the major component.

Air vs Oxygen

The main difference between air and oxygen is that air is a non-reactive gas that consists of Nitrogen, Oxygen, and many other gaseous compounds. On the other hand, Oxygen is a combustible gas that is used in many manufacturing processes. Generally, plants release oxygen, Without which life doesn’t exist.

Air is a mixture of many gases and dust particles. Air consists of 78% Nitrogen,  21% of oxygen, 0.9% of argon, 0.04% of carbon dioxide, and a very less percentage of other gases. With the mechanism of air, humans created windmills, ships that move with sails and airplanes, and many other flying objects.

Oxygen is the member of the chalcogen group on the periodic table. We breathe oxygen for living. Most of the air is in air and another source of oxygen plants. Plants release oxygen by absorbing carbon dioxide. Oxygen is used for many combustion processes. Oxygen is also available in a liquid state used in medical treatment.

Comparison Table Between Air and Oxygen

Parameters of comparison                   Air                               Oxygen
DefinitionMixture of gases                            It is a non-metallic element of the periodic
CompositionA mixture of Nitrogen, Oxygen, other gases, and water vapor                It is a non-metallic element   of the periodic
                                                                  
SourceVolcano eruptions, windblown dust  Photosynthesis, air, and oceans
ColourColorless pale blue liquid air        Gaseous oxygen is colorless but liquid oxygen is blue
OdorFresh air is odorless but  depends on components of gases at different conditionsOdorless
AllotropesAir is not available in any other physical formOzone ( O3 )

What is Air?

It is a necessary element of life. It occupies space. Moving air is called wind. wind moves clouds and causes rain.  Air cannot be seen but we can feel it. Air has weight and it exerts pressure which is known as atmospheric pressure( 1kg per square centimeter).

Air pressure is high at sea levels and low at higher altitudes like the top of a mountain Air also protects us from meteoroids. When they reach the earth’s surface, they burn as soon as they are in contact with the earth’s surface and broke down into small pieces.

We use air pressure in a medicine dropper, fountain pen, injections, straws, water pumps. It is used to fill balloons, balls which help the balls to bounce, and also used to fill the tires of automobiles to protect the vehicles from bumps on the roads. Air helps birds and aircraft to fly.

Air also includes some tiny particles which are called aerosols. Living Beings generally need air to breathe, but there are some organisms who make their livelihood in air. There are tiny microorganisms hanging in the air called bioaerosols.

Air can also be condensed into a liquid which is called liquid air.  Air is cooled to very low temperatures so that it will turn into a pale blue mobile liquid. It should be stored in a vacuum insulated flask. It is used for condensing/solidifying other substances. It is used as the replacement for liquid nitrogen.

Here are some of the physical properties of air. The density of air is 1.229 kg/m^3. The specific Volume of air is 0.814 m^3/kg. Air contains some man-made pollutants some of which are harmful to humans and also contribute to Global warming.

What is Oxygen?

Oxygen is the most reactive chemical element with atomic number 8 and the symbol “O”. It is a highly reacting non-metal and oxidizing agent. Oxygen is the major constituent of air. It is about 20% of Earth’s Atmosphere. It is the third most abundant element in the universe.

Two oxygen atoms bind with a hydrogen bond to form an oxygen molecule. Oxygen resides in group 16 of the periodic table and is a p-block element. It is used for combustion, respiration, and even photosynthesis.

Another form of oxygen, Ozone( trioxygen). It is a pale blue gas with a pungent smell. It is present in the Stratosphere. It absorbs the sun’s UV radiation. Ozone is an allotrope of Oxygen.

Oxygen is used in medical treatment to treat some heart disorders. It is used in space suits. Underwater divers also rely on artificial oxygen for breathing. Mountain climbers also need an artificial oxygen supply. Chemical reactions held in industries require a large amount of oxygen.

Liquid oxygen( LOX) is obtained by fractional distillation in a cryogenic air separation plant. It is pale blue. It is used in the first liquid-fueled rocket. It is widely used for industrial and medical purposes. It is also known as medical oxygen. well, it should be handled very carefully. Direct contact with liquid oxygen results in serious burns.

Oxygen is used in Oxy-acetylene welding and cutting metals. Isotopes of oxygen are 16O, 17O, 18O. These are the most abundant isotopes of oxygen. Common Oxidation states of Oxygen are -1, -2. Under standard conditions, Oxygen at room temperature has a melting point of -218.79oC and a boiling point of -182.95oC.

Main Differences Between Air and Oxygen

  1. The odor of air depends upon the matter present in it in different conditions but Oxygen is completely Odourless.
  2. Air is a mixture of gases, Oxygen is a diatomic molecule.
  3. Living organisms cannot live without air, it is also the same for oxygen but organisms like blue-green algae can survive without oxygen.
  4. Air is needed for combustion for the supply of oxygen and also artificial oxygen is used for combustion.
  5. Air cannot combine with other elements to form compounds but Oxygen can combine with other elements.

Conclusion

Oxygen is one of the components of air. Oxygen and air are not at all similar but we need them for our survival. We use these gases differently even though they are similar in the uses of the liquid forms of air and oxygen.

These naturally occurring gases are a treasure for Humans. We can breathe and live on Air and Oxygen.

References

  1. https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD002273.pub3/abstract
  2. https://www.publications.aap.org/pediatrics/article-split/128/2/e374/30583/Room-Air-Versus-Oxygen-Administration-for