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Oxygen: Essential For Human Life and Steelmaking

Gas Mixtures / Gases / Industries

A requirement for most life on earth, oxygen (O) is one of our atmosphere’s most plentiful elements. A particularly reactive gas, oxygen easily binds to a large variety of elements and compounds to form oxides, requiring inert gases to displace it or prevent contact with surfaces and other gases. Oxygen’s usefulness stretches across a wide range of industries.


Oxygen and Metals

Oxygen is an optimal assistant for dealing with scrap metal to be recycled for other uses. Heating and melting scrap metal with oxy-fuel burners prepares it to be used in the transportation industry for airplanes and automobiles, and to manufacture containers, appliances, and tools. Oxygen is essential in the manufacturing of steel. The steel industry is the largest consumer of commercially generated oxygen. Steel is one of the world’s most important materials. Consisting of iron and carbon, it’s an alloy that’s used to manufacture everything from screws and bolts to bridges, buildings, vehicles, engines and more. The most common steel production technique is known as basic oxygen steelmaking. Basic oxygen steelmaking (BOS) accounts for over half of the world’s steel.


Basic Oxygen Steelmaking Process

In BOS, recycled scrap steel is added into molten iron. Then at extremely high temperatures (which can reach over 3,000 degrees F°), a multi-nozzle lance blows oxygen into the molten iron, reducing its carbon content from 4% to <0.5%. Scrap is then added to control the temperature and the steel is tapped from the furnace vessel into a steel ladle for casting. The slag is removed and waste gases containing carbon monoxide are captured and used for power generation. Depending on the steel grade requirement, the melt might be further treated to adjust its chemical composition. Each treatment must be executed precisely. Therefore, it’s extremely important to understand the gas usage for this process and how to choose the correct storage vessel.


Understanding Gas Usage and Storage

We offer oxygen, argonnitrogen and carbon dioxide in liquid form in various bulk sizes and customizable options. If you have a need for an even larger vessel for gas storage, we can work with you on sizing a bulk storage tank. Cryogenic bulk tanks are installed on site and can be extremely large, ranging from 525 to 15,000 gallons. They are sized based on monthly usage and are built with the thermal efficiency to maintain liquid for 3 to 4 weeks before refill. We use telemetry units to get verified when the tank is low. It’s important to consistently pull product from the tank over time to reduce the amount of product lost from warming and the built-in tank pressure release. The longer it sits without use, the more product will be lost. Our experts have the knowledge to size a bulk tank large enough to pull the amount of product you need, while counteracting pressure and heat rise, and preventing significant gas losses.


Industrial Gases in the Rocky Mountains

Rocky Mountain Air operates in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, and Nebraska. Representatives of your local branch are available for quotes or consultations on cryogenic tanks or high-pressure cylinders for your manufacturing needs. In addition to gases, Rocky Mountain Air can outfit your crew with supplies such as protective safety gear, industrial accessories, and hardware, including torches, tips, valves, regulators, and much more. Contact us today and let us know how we can help you. We look forward to serving you with flawless dependability!

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