Oxygen Supplier to Western Michigan

Oxygen (O2) is tasteless, colorless and a highly oxidizing gas. GTW provides oxygen to Western Michigan businesses.

Commercial innovations utilizing oxygen were a result of developments in technology throughout the nineteenth century. Innovations associated with discovering cost-effective mechanical refrigeration provided a methodology to liquefy air. While nominally a dead end as far as refrigeration, air liquefaction very quickly led to air distillation into its most significant components: nitrogen, oxygen and argon. Because of the wide relative differences in the condensing and boiling points of these gases, extremely high purities of each were readily available. Coincidentally, rapid progress in electrochemistry and the quickly developing electro-plating businesses demonstrated that passing 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.

Meanwhile, the Bessemer steel process showed that vast quantities of high quality steel could be created from iron with the addition of oxygen-laden air. The Bessemer process became the best alternative to the Crucible process in terms of uniform steel purity, vastly expanded steel-making capacity and significantly 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 because the expense was too great. These included oxy-acetylene welding and cutting, float glass manufacture, and the use of pure oxygen as an explosive in underground coal mining. And once a viable option for packaging and transporting gas became available via cylinders, 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 principle uses of oxygen in the twenty-first century. Additional large oxygen demand processes now include water purification and paper production, where oxygen’s oxidative properties allow it to replace chlorine in many applications.

Environmental monitoring and semiconductor manufacturing account for the majority of 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. Likewise, these are 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 is also used in calibration mixtures for environmental emission monitoring, industrial hygiene and safety monitors. The electronics industry also uses considerable quantities of Ultra High Purity Oxygen for laser etching of silicon substrates.

Get information about how GTW can help supply your oxygen needs in Western Michigan today! Call us at 616-754-6120 or connect with us online here.