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The manufacture of oxygen is described along with that of nitrogen (Fig. 1) during the liquefaction of air. Pressure swing adsorption (Fig. 2) is also used to generate pure oxygen.
Oxygen is used for primary metals manufacturing, chemicals manufac- turing, oxidation processes, and partial oxidation processes. The steel industry prefers to use pure oxygen rather than air in processing iron. The oxygen reacts with elemental carbon to form carbon monoxide, which is processed with iron oxide so that carbon is incorporated into the iron metal, making it much lower melting and more pliable (fusible pig iron). The following equations summarize some of this chemistry.
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