Can we get Oxygen from Water?

Well this one is an interesting topic that has been escaping us for a long time, as I was thinking one day that what will happen if we keep using resources as we are doing it now.

Let’s just leave to call it resource. As we are talking about oxygen in this article and we all know very well that oxygen is most important resource, along with water, as we talk now a days.

Pollution is getting increased day by day and many patients of anxiety are feeling difficult to breathe in air. So it is very important for us to make artificial oxygen (as no other gas is discovered as yet which can be perfect to inhale!). So we are going to discover in the following article that is it even possible to get oxygen from water or not.


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Water Splitting Method

Water is made by the chemical interaction of two gases – Hydrogen (H2) and Oxygen (O2). Two molecules of hydrogen interact with a single molecule of oxygen gas to form two molecules of water. This process can be reversed, that is, water can be separated into its components.

Image taken from Wikipedia

Water splitting is the general term for a chemical reaction in which water is separated into oxygen and hydrogen. Efficient and economical water splitting would be a key technological component of a hydrogen economy. Various techniques for water splitting have been issued in water splitting patents in the United States.

There are a number of methods by which we can split water into its components, that are, Hydrogen (as a fuel) and Oxygen (to breathe), the most common (which you can even try at home) is electrolysis of Water.


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Electrolysis of Water

In this method, electric current is passed through water and water is decomposed into hydrogen and oxygen. These types of reactions in which a compound is made to split into its components are called decomposition reactions and when this happens due to electric current, it is called electrolytic decomposition reactions.


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Splitting Water at Home!

You can also do it at home:

Materials

  • Distilled water
  • Tap water
  • 2 silver-colored thumb tacks
  • 9V battery
  • Small, clear plastic container (a plastic to-go sauce container from a restaurant would work great)
  • 2 test tubes
  • Stopwatch
  • Baking soda
  • Table salt
  • Lemon
  • Dishwashing detergent

Procedure

  1. Insert the thumb tacks into the bottom of the plastic container so that the points push up into the container. Space them so that they’re the same distance apart as the two terminals of the 9V battery. Be careful not to prick yourself!
  2. Place the plastic container with the thumb tacks over the terminals of the battery. If the cup is too large to balance on the battery, find something to stack it on: between two books, a stack of post-its, etc.
  3. Slowly fill the container with distilled water. If the tacks move, go ahead and use this opportunity to fix them before you proceed.
  4. Add a pinch of baking soda.
  5. Hold two test tubes above each push pin to collect the gas (Hydrogen and Oxygen) being formed.

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Conclusion

So here we are on the conclusion that Life is safe until the original oxygen remains and even after original oxygen get finished we can use artificial oxygen to breathe.So I am now very excited to try and make oxygen using water.


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References

  1. Electrolysis of Water. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrolysis_of_water
  2. Electrolysis of Water Experiment. (n.d.). Retrieved from Education.com: https://www.education.com/science-fair/article/water-electrolysis/

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Author: Sanchay Upadhyay

Sanchay is a last second-year high school student (grade 11). He is the executive editor/author of Engineering and Technology in Maddyz Physics (maddyzphysics.com). He writes on the subjects of Engineering and Technology, and, sometimes Astronomy also. He extremely loves cricket and also want to make a career in it. Other than this, he also wants to become an (Software) Engineer.

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