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Properties of an Element: Oxygen

How Oxygen is Made

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The Discovery and Origin of Oxygen
Physical and Chemical Properties
How Oxygen is Made
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Oxygen exists in earth's lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere and cannot be "made" (from nothing).  However, it can be produced.  Joseph Priestly first discovered oxygen using mercuric oxide.  When heated, mercuric oxide (HgO) produces oxygen (Priestly produced heat using a magnifying glass).  Oxygen can be extracted from liquified air through the process of fractional distillation.  Oxygen can also be produced by the electrolysis of water or by heating potassium chlorate.