Cryogenic gases are gases that are produced from a process known as cryogenics. This is a procedure by which materials are produced at extremely low temperatures. Cryogenics can also be used to refer to the study of how these materials produced at very low temperatures behave. This is because the chemical properties of these substances tend to be altered when exposed to super cold temperatures. Naturally, they will transform from a gas state to liquid and eventually to a solid state. This has made cryogenics a compelling area of study for many researchers.
Types of Cryogenic Gases
Cryogenic gases are comprised of the most regularly used industrial gases. They are usually stored and handled in their liquid state brought about by being exposed to cryogenic temperatures. They are all capable of producing large amounts of gas when vaporized. They include:
Among the most frequently applied cryogenic gases is liquid nitrogen. It shows characteristics of low viscosity and no color when in a liquid state. Liquid nitrogen offers the advantage of being able to move it to its freezing point quickly by simply subjecting it to a reduced surfaced pressure and concealing it in a vacuum. For this reason, it is frequently used as a coolant.
Liquid Carbon Dioxide
Another common cryogenic gas is a form of gaseous carbon dioxide that has been extremely cooled and compressed. It requires a lot of compression as it can only occur in pressures above 5.1 atmospheres. Also, the liquid carbon dioxide will only form at a particular temperature and pressure and not just any high amounts. Its properties are that of being order less as well as transparent. The most common uses of liquid carbon dioxide are in fire extinguishers and as a coolant. It can also be used to extract virgin olive oil.
The other cryogenic gas is that made of an inert gas known as argon. Its inert nature does not allow it to combine into various chemical compounds. It is therefore a rare gas. Liquid argon possesses the properties of being non-corrosive and non-flammable. It also has no taste, color or odor and happens to be very cold.
The cryogenic liquid can be converted to its gaseous state at a boiling point of -302.5oF. While in this state, it is typically used for filing bulbs. It can be used together with other rare gases to bring about special color effects in bulbs and tubes. It is also applied as a shielding gas during welding.
Liquid oxygen is formed when Oxygen, which is diatomic, is transformed into a liquid state. Unlike the above cryogenic gases, this one happens to have a color which is pale blue. Liquid oxygen has another interesting property of being paramagnetic which makes it slightly attracted to magnetic fields. It is also a bit dense, that is, a bit more than liquid water.
Liquid oxygen is widely applied as an oxidizing agent to assist in burning organic materials more quickly in industrial settings. It is also a common oxidizer for propelling rockets. In fact, it was the first to be used on the first-ever liquid-fueled rocket in 1926.