Oxygen Supplier to Southern California

Oxygen (O2) is tasteless, colorless and a highly oxidizing gas. WestAir Specialty Gases and Equipment provides oxygen to Southern California businesses.

Commercial use of oxygen came after changes in technology throughout the nineteenth century. The quest for cost-effective mechanical refrigeration furnished a methodology to liquefy air. While nominally a dead end as far as refrigeration, air liquefaction almost immediately led to air distillation into its major components: nitrogen, oxygen and argon. Due to the large relative differences in the condensing and boiling points of these gases, extremely high purities of each were readily available. Coincidentally, quick progress in electrochemistry and the quickly developing electro-plating businesses demonstrated that transmitting an electric current through an aqueous salt solution generated gases at both the anode and the cathode, these gases were quickly identified as oxygen and hydrogen, respectively.

In the mean time, the Bessemer steel process demonstrated that vast quantities of high quality steel could be produced from iron with the introduction of oxygen-laden air. The Bessemer process became an improved alternative to the Crucible process in terms of uniform steel purity, vastly expanded steel-making capacity and dramatically lower cost, especially if a source of high purity oxygen replaced air in the process.

With enough potential base-load provided by steel production, low-cost, high purity oxygen’s availability spured several previously proposed applications that hadn’t been commercialized due to cost. These included oxy-acetylene welding and cutting, float glass manufacture, and the application of pure oxygen as an explosive in underground coal mining. And once packaging and transportation of gas in cylinders proved to be viable, prescribing oxygen for breathing and respiratory therapy grew rapidly. While oxygen as an explosive’s use was dramatically curtailed in the 1920’s, steel and glass manufacture, respiratory demand and oxy-acetylene welding and cutting are still are the most common uses of oxygen in the twenty-first century. Other large oxygen demand processes now include water purification and paper production, where oxygen’s oxidative properties allow it to supplant chlorine in many applications.

Environmental monitoring and semiconductor manufacturing account for a significant amount of oxygen’s demand in the specialty gas world. PurityPlus Hydrocarbon-Free and Ultra High Purity Oxygen are used to create Zero and Ultra Zero Air for atmospheric and environmental monitoring base-line studies. These are also used as a combustion support gas in conjunction with UHP Hydrogen in Flame Ionization and Flame Photometric Detectors used in Gas Chromatography. Ultra High Purity and Research Grade Oxygen can also used in calibration mixtures for environmental emission monitoring, industrial hygiene and safety monitors. The electronics industry also uses vast quantities of Ultra High Purity Oxygen for laser etching of silicon substrates.

Learn how WestAir Specialty Gases and Equipment can help supply your oxygen needs in Southern California today! Call us at 866-WESTAIR or connect with us online here.